Stories You Can Sink Your Teeth Into

Tiger Times

Stories You Can Sink Your Teeth Into

Tiger Times

Stories You Can Sink Your Teeth Into

Tiger Times

May 22, 2024

Living Through Music

Vittoria Pugina, playing violin and stunning professionals and peers alike.
Vittoria Pugina playing at an Erie High School Concert.

Many go through their life listening to music, for fun, or as they walk through the store with a popular tune. We listen to it while we drive our cars around town, and it plays in the background of every moving moment within a show or a movie. However, this is very different from the ability to know what you’re listening to as though it were a language you could fluently speak. 

Vittoria Pugina, sophomore at Erie High School, has grown up trying to master this ability. Currently, that is most seen within her participation in both the school orchestra, but also other orchestras across the state. 

Pugina has been playing the violin for twelve years now, starting originally when she was five or six. She says, “I began playing because my mom exposed me to music from a very young age.” Pugina, not only has played the violin, but has also sang for the Erie choir, and played piano. She explains, “[Pugina’s mother,] introduced me to the music world and learning an instrument so young so I could learn it as fluently as a language.” 

However, to Pugina it has been more than just a skill to get better at, it has been an outlet of expression. “I see it as an outlet. Whenever I’m feeling stressed or angry or just upset in general I find that music is one of probably the truest forms of art that you can think of … You listen to it, you feel it.” 

She plans to pursue a future in music, playing professionally for orchestras for work as she grows older. “I definitely hope to pursue a career and maybe in a professional orchestra, and teaching on the side because I know the music world can be a little bit tough to make a sustainable living on just one job,” she laughs. 

For the present, Pugina has been impressing those around her, peers and professionals alike in class. Monica Smiley, orchestra teacher at Erie High comments: “Vittoria has been an impressive student I would say because of how driven she is. Extremely type A, which is… 100 percent the quality that you need to have if you’re going to be a violinist and you want to succeed beyond high school orchestra.” 

According to Smiley, Pugina is also very consistent in being prepared for class, and truly knowing her music. “She comes to class prepared, already knowing her stuff, but you know 99 percent of the music is already known and practiced.” 

Pugina is also succeeding in the orchestras that she is participating in currently. Smiley says, “Just listening to her makes her stand out. But then also, the fact that she goes out and she performs in the school community, in the Denver community, in All State.” 

Smiley says that Pugina is a good listener, both through the music, but also towards the peers around her. She explains that, “she’s a humble person.” While Pugina is undeniably very skilled at playing the violin, she values others around her just as much. 

Vittoria Pugina also has other tricks up her sleeve, as according to Smiley, “she’s got options.” While she is capable and has a chance to move forward in the world of music. She excels in other subjects as well. She says, “Chemistry, I know that sounds like I probably can’t think of something better but I mean do you like chemistry? That’s rare.”

Vittoria playing her violin at a concert.

Whether it be through sending melodies into the hearts of others, or through science that could improve the world as we know it, Vittoria Pugina stands out against the crowd as someone willing to work hard to get there.


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About the Contributor
Hannah Osmann
Hannah Osmann, Editor-In-Chief
Hannah Osmann is a senior this year, and is excited to take her post as Editor-In-Chief of the newspaper. She has been apart of the Erie Tiger Times since her freshman years and loves to write. She plays for the school's volleyball team, and is excited to crush this season. Also loves music and has been playing for Erie's orchestras all four years. After high school Hannah plans on going to Dordt University, and earning a communications degree.

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