Katrina Agustin (center) stands with her two teachers, left, Kelly Schmidt, and right, Vicki Lotes.

Katrina Agustin, 13, helps spread the love of violin and music around to anyone who will listen at Liberty Middle School.

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Agustin, the concert master violinist for the Liberty Middle School orchestra, recently performed a solo with the Belleville Philharmonic Youth Orchestra, winning the George Tuerck Concerto Competition contest for the honor.

The Liberty Middle School eighth grader started playing violin when she was 4 years old.   She has performed as a member of the Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Tour Group since 2011. She was principal second violin for the Liberty Middle orchestra last year.

Katrina started playing when she was 4 because she thought so much of her brother, Matthew, who is a violinist.

“He was always someone I looked up to and he got me into playing soccer and violin,” Katrina said. “He still plays professionally.”

Katrina said she does enjoy sharing her love of music with other students.

“I feel like I am actually helping somebody when I do that,” she said of helping younger students. “I had one seventh-grader say, ‘I want to come here every day and be as good as you when I grow up.’ That helps me to think I am getting better at doing what I love.”

She plays on Sundays for St. Mary’s Church and St. Boniface Church in Edwardsville. She is a sprinter and hurdler for the Liberty Middle School track team. She also plays competitive soccer.

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Katrina is the daughter of Marcus and Zenia Agustin of Edwardsville and studies with Vicki Lottes in the SIUE Suzuki program.

Something that impresses the principal at Liberty Middle is how young Katrina works with others on the violin, encouraging them and trying to get them to a higher level.

Katrina’s mother said her daughter is both “passionate” about her music and “determined.”

“What I have been impressed by her beginning is how she is able to express herself musically and see how she has grown as an individual,” her mother said.

Vicki Lottes, her private instructor, said Katrina has a good work ethic and is able to help with an analysis of her playing and constantly make improvements.

Kelly Schmidt, her orchestra teacher, said Katrina is such a leader and she passes on her skills to other students.

“She gets up early to practice and her dedication is amazing,” she said. “It is a pleasure to listen to her. I hope she finds a way to use her music every day the rest of her life.”

The Liberty Middle School student said she wants to play violin in high school and in college, both.

She said she hopes to possibly attend the Naval Academy one day and has thought about being an economist, a teacher, or something of that nature.

“I will always have my violin and music with me, no matter what,” she said.

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