Abby Mihaiuc is leading by example

Washougal resident aspires to play in a college orchestra

The daughter of Romanian immigrants is demonstrating her talent as a violinist with the Junior Symphony of Vancouver.

Abby Mihaiuc, 15, of Washougal, is in her third year with the JSV.

She enjoys the variety of music that can be played on a violin.

“Along with playing classic pieces, I love playing worship songs and more modern pieces,” Mihaiuc said. “Violin also allows me to express myself in a completely unique way.”

She started playing nine years ago when she was in kindergarten.

Mihaiuc, daughter of John and Dina Mihaiuc, recalls being inspired to become a better musician when she attended her first concert at the age of 8.

It featured Andre Rieu.

“His obvious passion for what he does made me want to further pursue the violin,” Mihaiuc said.

Her violin instructor for five years, Monica Powers, describes Mihaiuc as friendly, interested, curious, ambitious but calm, sensitive and hardworking.

“Her perspective is she is here to learn something,” Powers said. “She is focused and positive. A lot of that comes from encouragement at home.

“Her parents are supportive and non-critical,” she added. “They are supportive of improvement. They are not just cheerleaders without seeing results.”

Powers is also an instructor for Mihaiuc’s 13-year-old sister Johnene, who has been playing viola for three years. Another sister, Calley, 11, has played piano for four years.

“My parents definitely inspired me to get into music,” Mihaiuc said. “Growing up in Romania, they didn’t have the opportunity to learn an instrument, but they wanted all of us — me and my sisters — to have the opportunity to play an instrument we liked.

“After having one violin lesson, I knew it was the instrument for me,” she added.

Mihaiuc hopes to play in a college orchestra and perform in other groups as she gets older. She is interested in pursuing a career as a pharmacist.

As a River HomeLink student in Battle Ground, Mihaiuc is a 10th grade Associated Student Body representative. That involves planning fundraisers and events such as dances, spirit weeks, assemblies and community service projects.

For information about future Junior Symphony of Vancouver performances, call 696-4084 or visit