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Embracing Dreams at the Break of Day

Sierra Hull is scheduled to perform in Aspen on Saturday evening at the Harris Concert Hall on the Aspen Meadows campus as part of the Roaring Fork Sessions concert series. The accomplished musician, who was recognized as a child prodigy and has been awarded the International Bluegrass Music Association’s mandolin player of the year award six times, will showcase her talent at 8 p.m.

“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.” — Henry David Thoreau

Sierra Hull’s journey closely mirrors the sentiment expressed by Thoreau in the above quote. Her pursuit of a remarkable dream began at the tender age of 8, and within a mere three years, she achieved extraordinary success through a combination of undeniable genius, unwavering focus, courage, and a touch of magic—accomplishments that most can only aspire to achieve in a lifetime.

Hull’s upbringing in Byrdstown, a small Tennessee town with a population of 700, immersed her in a musical environment where playing instruments and singing were integral parts of everyday life. Surrounded by family members and friends who shared her passion for music, Hull’s early exposure to instruments like the mandolin and guitar laid the foundation for her musical journey.

Initially introduced to the fiddle, Hull’s transition to the mandolin marked a pivotal moment in her musical evolution. Captivated by the instrument’s allure, she dedicated herself wholeheartedly to mastering its intricacies, spending countless hours honing her skills. Joining her father in local jam sessions further fueled her passion for bluegrass and gospel music, shaping her into the artist she is today.

While some may label her as a child prodigy, Hull humbly attributes her rapid progress to her deep-seated love for music and her unwavering dedication. Her ability to memorize and play hundreds of songs by the age of 10, coupled with her talent for improvisation, set her apart as a remarkably gifted musician, garnering attention and admiration from her community.

Encouraged by those around her, Hull ventured into recording her own music, releasing her debut CD, “Angel Mountain,” at just 10 years old—a significant achievement for any young artist. However, it was a chance encounter with a CD featuring Alison Krauss that would leave an indelible mark on her musical aspirations.

Inspired by Krauss’s artistry and captivated by her music, Hull’s admiration for the renowned artist grew exponentially, shaping her dreams and aspirations. A fateful meeting with Chris Thile at MerleFest, where she showcased her talent and shared her musical journey, set the stage for a serendipitous encounter with her idol, Alison Krauss, at the Grand Ole Opry.

The opportunity to perform alongside Krauss on the iconic Opry stage realized a childhood dream for Hull, solidifying her resolve to pursue a career in music with unwavering determination. Krauss’s subsequent involvement in producing Hull’s debut album, “Secrets,” marked a pivotal moment in her burgeoning career, propelling her towards greater recognition and success in the bluegrass genre.

Today, at 32, Sierra Hull stands as a trailblazer in the bluegrass scene, with multiple Grammy nominations and a groundbreaking win as the first woman to claim the IBMA’s Best Mandolin Player award six times. Her illustrious career has seen her collaborate with industry giants, grace prestigious venues like Red Rocks and Carnegie Hall, and even perform at the White House—an impressive testament to her unwavering commitment to her musical journey.

Sierra Hull’s story exemplifies the power of perseverance, passion, and unwavering dedication in the pursuit of one’s dreams. As she continues to make strides in the music industry, she remains a shining example of someone who has fearlessly followed the path she envisioned as a young musician—an inspiring narrative that resonates with aspiring artists and music enthusiasts alike.