A piece of Tipp City was part of the inauguration for President Trump, as Donnie Reis helped provide music for some key moments. On the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, Reis played with ‘The Frontmen of Country’ for the ‘Make America Great Again Celebration’ on Thursday and also with ‘Tim Rushlow and his big band’ at the ‘Freedom Ball’ most notably for the first dance for President Trump and Vice President Pence with their wives.
It was all especially meaningful to Reis, who has a strong sense of dedication towards serving his country. “It means a great deal to me to have been asked to be a part of it. As a U.S Army Veteran, and a Veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom, I have a great sense of civic duty, as well as love for my country. So needless to say, that I am truly honored,” he said.
From a young age Reis was a gifted violinist, and his life’s path was set towards being a musician, until some personality flaws caused some discourse. It wasn’t until joining the military that he got set straight back towards music. “Prior to my time in the military, I had been awarded a full scholarship to Miami University, for the violin. I was young, a little arrogant, and a little too self- impressed. Honestly, I spent more time making excuses for my ego than anything else. Needless to say, I had lost at the very least my musical/artistic direction. Leaving that environment and joining the Army taught me about sacrifice, showed me humility, and gave me a sense of redefined purpose. The truth is, if I hadn’t joined the Army and gone to Iraq, I may have never picked music back up,” said Reis.
The decision to return back to music has paid off greatly for Reis, as in addition to the opportunity for playing with a wide variety of different artists; he has also become a highly sought after producer. Reis developed Twelve3South, a state of the art recording studio, where he’s produced, engineered, and provided arrangements for numerous musicians.
Among the highlights of his musical journey was playing at the Lincoln Memorial in front of a world-wide television audience with Tim Rushlow (Little Texas), Larry Stewart (Restless Heart) and Richie McDonald (Lonestar). They were then joined by Lee Greenwood for a rousing rendition of ‘God Bless the USA.’ To be a part of the ‘Freedom Ball’ was equally as magical for Reis.
Freedom is what Reis fought for in the Army, and he proudly celebrated that right by sharing his musical talents with the entire country.