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Bluegrass Peer Educators Perform Today

June 13, 2008
Special to The Post-Journal
MAYVILLE — The Mayville Bluegrass Festival, along with the Arts Council of Chautauqua County, are partnering with the New York State Music fund to bring two of bluegrass music’s brightest young stars to two area schools.

Sierra Hull and Ryan Holladay are both bluegrass peer educators. Prior to their featured appearances at the June Mayville Bluegrass Festival, they will hold assemblies at Chautauqua Lake Central School and Sherman Central School on today.

Sierra, 16, is on her way to becoming a seasoned bluegrass veteran. She has already performed at Carnegie Hall with Ryan Holladay, a fellow Mayville Bluegrass Festival performer.

She and Holladay hosted IBMA’s educational DVD, ‘‘Discover Bluegrass,’’ now available in more than 3,000 schools, libraries and home school families. The artists, who were both 13 when they taped the project, were booked to reprise their roles as ‘‘Discover Bluegrass’’ hosted the special live Carnegie Hall performance.

Sierra fronts her own band, Sierra Hull & Highway 111, which features her brother Cody Hull, 17, on guitar and vocals, Cory Walker on banjo and Dobro, and John Fox on bass. Additionally, she hosts the Sierra Hull Bluegrass Festival in her hometown, Byrdstown, Tenn. Her latest Rebel Records release called, ‘‘Secrets,’’ was produced by Union Station member Ron Block and features a star-studded lineup.

Holladay first performed on Nashville’s historic Grand Ole Opry when she was 5 and is credited with being the youngest performer to grace that stage. Still a teenager, he has already released three albums and has appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show’s ‘‘World’s Most Talented Kids’’ episode, Nickelodeon’s ‘‘Figure It Out,’’ and PBS’s ‘‘Zoom.’’

Largely self-taught, his lightning-fast fingers are equally nimble on the banjo and mandolin, and he plays the guitar and Dobro as well.

With three albums to his credit, Holladay’s most recent recording, ‘‘New Kid in Town,’’ was released by Skaggs Family Records last year.

Their appearances are made possible by the New York State Music Fund, established by the New York State Attorney General at Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors through a grant to the Arts Council for Chautauqua County.


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