October brought surprising news, as Christi Gibson, resident of Opelika, was informed that she had been selected to play piano during a Christmas celebration at the White House on Dec. 18, 2019.
Gibson entertained White House staff and family members in her two-hour piano set.
“I could’ve played for two more hours,” Gibson said.
Though nervous at the beginning, Gibson said after the first 15 minutes passed, she was able to fully enjoy it.
“It was a wonderful experience from the time I got there,” Gibson said. “The piano I played on was a Steinway and had previously been played on by Elton John, Stevie Wonder and — I think — Paul McCartney.”
Gibson, a self-proclaimed jack-of-all-trades, is a pianist, a singer, a former staff member of the 2016 Donald Trump presidential campaign, the owner of a bed-and-breakfast in Mississippi, a mother, a grandmother and a philanthropist.
She said that both of her parents were election commissioners, and her father was a veteran. Proud of what her parents contributed to their country, Gibson turned to her upbringing to motivate her desire of giving back to her country.
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For Trump’s 2016 campaign, Gibson began as a volunteer caller, then evolved to doing events and eventually transitioned to holding a staff position as an office manager.
Gibson currently volunteers for Tommy Tuberville’s Alabama senate campaign.
During the 2016 race, Gibson regularly played piano for veteran lunches in Iowa and sang the national anthem at a Trump rally.
While in Iowa, Gibson said she was able to make strong connections with people that live across the country.
“I worked with amazing people, and I’m still friends with them today,” Gibson said.
It was a former colleague of Gibson who encouraged her to contact the White House about potentially performing there.
“I really did not think I was going to be selected,” Gibson said.
But, Gibson said she believes in always trying, even if she is told “no.”
To film an application video of her piano skills, Gibson worked with Opelika videographer Rex Roach. The pair filmed on a Steinway at a local Opelika school.
“You can’t make a video with just anyone,” she said. “The comfort he gave me was unbelievable.”
Gibson said she is so thankful that everything she prayed for turned out the way it did.
At the conclusion of the awaited evening, Gibson went to Trump International Hotel Washington, D.C. with her husband for dinner. They were recognized and praised by many of the attendees from the Christmas celebration.
“I just had this dream to do this — crazy as it may seem,” Gibson said. “But I took the chance.”
With a history of teaching, Gibson said her experiences have taught her to make sure her kids are not afraid to try things even if they do not work out.
“If there is anything I want to convey from my experiences, [it] is to not be afraid to dream big and [that] you can achieve things that you never ever thought possible,” Gibson said.
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