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Violinist Brings Sounds of Music to EAA AirVenture

Violinist Brian Reagin made sure his son wouldn’t miss out on another year at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh.

By Megan Esau and Nicole Kiefert

July 24, 2015 - Campers passing between 9th and 10th Streets in Camp Scholler may have heard the violin music of Brian Reagin floating from his RV. Brian, who is here with his son, Sean, is the concert master of the New York Symphony and during the summer is concert master for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

Although he has been to EAA AirVenture Oshkosh at least 20 times since 1978, this is his violin’s first time here.

“I usually take the week off because it’s not the most ideal circumstances for practice inside a trailer, acoustically or atmospherically,” he said.

However, Brian will be performing a solo concerto with an orchestra in New York on the first Tuesday after EAA AirVenture 2015.

“But I couldn’t miss Oshkosh because my son would never forgive me,” Brian said of Sean, who was aptly named after famous aerobatic pilot Sean D. Tucker. “He’s been bitten pretty hard by the airplane bug.”

Brian said during his childhood his parents were very supportive of his violin pursuits but more apprehensive about his aviation interests.

Living in the same neighborhood as Neal Loving in Yellow Springs, Ohio, near the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base didn’t help his parents’ case, though.

“I used to see [Neal] driving past my house with this airplane on the back of his car, and I would jump on my bike and chase him out there, and I did this enough times until he finally gave me a ride,” Brian said. “He was a real inspiration.”

Brian now owns a prewar 1939 Aeronca Chief.

“Back in high school I had a list of 20 or 30 airplanes of all the ones I was going to build,” Brian said. “So far, I’ve done one of them, but I built it twice.”

He also has ties to famous media host David Hartman, who moderates many of the programs at Theater in the Woods.

David recently relocated to North Carolina, and whenever Brian plays there, they do a radio interview that somehow always turns from talking about music to talking airplanes.

Brian said while the campground setting isn’t the best for his instrument, he wouldn’t be opposed to bringing it with him again.

Although there is one important distraction: “It’s a little hard to keep the motivation with all those airplanes over there.”

 

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