Senior Master Sgt. Vivian L. Podgainy is a cellist with the Air Force Strings, The United States Air Force Band, Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling, Washington, D.C. Originally from Dix Hills, New York, her career in the Air Force began in 1995. Podgainy currently serves as Unit Training Manager.
Prior to her college studies, Podgainy studied cello with Jerome Carrington and composition with Andrew Thomas at the Juilliard School Pre-College Division as an honorary scholarship recipient. She also studied piano privately with Jean Vandersall. Podgainy received a Bachelor of Music degree from the Oberlin Conservatory and a Master of Music degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music. She began work on her Doctor of Musical Arts degree at the Catholic University of America.
Before joining the Air Force, Podgainy served on the faculties of The Hartt School Community Division at the University of Hartford, Choate Rosemary Hall in Connecticut and the Eastern Music Festival of North Carolina. She was a member of the Springfield (Mass.) and Hartford Symphony Orchestras. While in Cleveland, Podgainy performed with the Akron, Canton and Columbus Symphonies.
Her teachers include the late Richard Kapuscinski, Alan Harris, Alan Stepansky and Robert Newkirk. Additionally, she performed in master classes for Janos Starker and Steve Doane and coached with Bryan Dumm, Pamela Frame and David Teie.
Podgainy served as principal cellist of the U. S. Air Force Strings Orchestra from 1997 through 2011 and performed two concerti as soloist with the orchestra. Highlights of Podgainy's career include the 2009 inauguration concert on the national mall, as well as a performance at the Kennedy Center Honors banquet in 2016.