Sunday, January 24, 2021

Musical artist sings at PSUC

American bluegrass singer, mandolinist and guitarist Sierra Hull is set to perform in Giltz Auditorium in Hawkins Hall on April 12 at 3 p.m.

Hull was signed to Rounder Records at 13 years old. She released her debut vocal album only three years later at 16. The album peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard Top Bluegrass Albums chart. Born and raised in Tennessee, Hull began playing the mandolin at age 8, and released her first album at age 10.
The event is sponsored by the Bluegrass for the Next Generation group on campus.

Bluegrass for the Next Generation (BGNG) started in 2011 to promote bluegrass music, education and awareness at Plattsburgh State and in New York’s North Country. The group is working to help younger generations experience and discover bluegrass and to actively encourage young people to listen, join in and get together.

Bluegrass is a form of American roots music and a subgenre of country music. It was inspired by the music of Appalachia and has mixed roots in Irish, Scottish, Welsh and English traditional music, as well as African-American influences through incorporation of jazz elements.

The event started as an idea from the Gibson Brothers. The Gibson Brothers, internationally known bluegrass players and alumni of PSUC, recommended to the school to have Hull, a rising star, perform here.

“Sierra played the mandolin for the brothers for a few shows when they were in need of one when on tour,” said Tim Hartnett, associate librarian and instructor of the Introduction to Bluegrass class this semester.

Hartnett said the class he teaches gets students exposed to bluegrass. He also wants his students to understand and appreciate the music. The students can get involved playing bluegrass by being offered instruction on four bluegrass instruments.

“I’m part of the executive level of a steering committee, and my role was to liaison between Sierra’s people and our production team here,” Hartnett said. “I will be introducing her at the event.”

“It’s going to be a really great event. Nothing compares to seeing someone perform live.”

Other than the committee setting the event up, students are involved as well.

PSUC senior Rachel Cusick helped organize these events for three years.

“For this event, I designed the fliers while doing promotional stuff with the Facebook page and getting together ticket sales,”
Before Hull performs, a local band Beartracks will open the event.

The band came together almost 11 years ago in 2004. The group started out as a trio, and though this wasn’t the traditional bluegrass group, they were accepted into the bluegrass world.

Three soon became four with Tom Venne, Julie Venne Hogan, Scott Hopkins and Harry Ralph all playing the rhythm guitar, electric/acoustic bass, banjo, and fiddle respectively.

“We have a fairly large local following, so when we perform, our crowd would mix in with Sierra’s,” Venne said.

Beartracks has been performing all over the North East with traditional bluegrass music, but also throwing in some non-traditional bluegrass music.
“We’re always excited to perform — we love playing music,” Venne said. “We’ve never met Sierra, so we are excited to meet her and see her play.”

Tickets can be bought at and

Email Samantha Stahl at

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