Pianist brings Christmas concert to First Baptist

Published 6:54 pm Wednesday, December 11, 2019

CHOCOWINITY — Pianist Alan Curtis Tripp has performed in 40 countries and 45 states. While he’s entertained audiences across the world, he has a true connection to Beaufort County, one that dates back centuries.

“It goes all the way back to my family that originated there in the 1700s in a town called Core Point,” Tripp said. “My grandfather had property there, now my uncle does, and we’d come up every summer for family reunions. … It’s kind of like a homecoming every time I come to that area.”

Tripp will return to his roots this weekend to perform a Christmas concert at First Baptist Church Chocowinity, stopping for concerts in New Bern and Newport along the way. Ranging from such traditional pieces as “O Holy  Night” to an instrumental version of Mariah Carey’s 1994 hit “All I Want for Christmas Is You,” the family friendly concert will feature both new and old, interspersed with a bit of humor and inspiring stories.

“I’ll do a lot of original arrangements of sacred pieces that they’ll enjoy,” Tripp said.

Tripp began studying piano at the age of 9, ultimately graduating with a Bachelor of Music from the Moody Bible Institute of Chicago. Since, he’s performed in more than 2,000 shows, playing genres across the musical spectrum — jazz, pop, classical, sacred, gospel, country and Latin. His interests, however, are not limited to music: in 2015, Tripp cycled 3,000 miles across the U.S. to raise money for Kids Alive International, a Christian nonprofit founded to support child, family and community development, while performing concerts in route.

Tripp said a cousin introduced him to First Baptist Church Chocowinity, which led he and fellow pianist Scott Jonathan Griffin to make several repeat performances at the church under the name “Captivating Keyboards.”

Tripp said he’s looking forward to being back in eastern North Carolina for this solo Christmas performance.

“It’s the first time I’ve played a Christmas concert there, so it’ll be fun,” he said.

The concert is set for 6 p.m. Sunday at First Baptist Church Chocowinity, 230 N.C. Highway 33, Chocowinity. Tripp’s performance is free and open to the public.