Nadya Shtanukhina, 17, Marysville-Pilchuck High School senior

Joy of music Plays violin for the Cascade Youth Symphony and started learning the instrument nine years ago. Favorite composer is Johann Sebastian Bach. Has roughly 1,700 songs on her iPod.

Bright sound: Also has taken up playing the electric violin. Is part of a three-member band called The Sunbeams. Describes the group’s music as “kind of rock alternative. We aren’t real sure how to describe it.”

Thanks, Mom: Violin teacher has been her mom, Lyudmila, who learned to play violin from her mother. Now appreciates that her mom wouldn’t let her quit. “If it wasn’t for her, I wouldn’t be playing now. I’m really glad she made me.”

New home: Moved to America from Kazakhstan when she was 6. Doesn’t remember it well, but has visited Russia twice to visit relatives. Still speaks Russian but feels that she is more American now.

Tough schedule: Second-year Latin, college-level Advanced Placement calculus and literature classes, college algebra, civics and teaches young children how to swim. “I really love to swim and I just really wanted to see what it was like to teach kids.”

Plans: Hopes to attend University of Washington. Is considering a major in medical technology and a minor in music. Might apply to medical school someday.

Big sister: Has a 5-year-old brother, Vladimir. “He sees me as more his age. He doesn’t really listen to me as he does my mom and dad.”

Remembering past: Likes reading about World War II.

Into numbers: “I usually do better in the science- and math-based classes. I remember numbers better than words. It’s easier for me.”

High school: Has liked high school not just for what she learns in the classroom, but for what she learns outside the classroom. “It’s good just meeting a lot of new people. I get to find a lot of new things I like to do.”

Eye to the sky: “I would love to learn how to fly a plane. I don’t know whether that’s realistic or not but if I ever get a chance, I will probably do it.”

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