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McKenzie Robinson | SBJ

2022 40 Under 40: Blake Richter

Nixa Public Schools

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Blake Richter is in the business of elevating voices. From directing student choirs and teaching leadership skills to middle schoolers to mentoring new educators and advocating for music education, he says he’s lucky to have found his passion so early in his career.

Richter, 28, is the head director of choirs at Nixa Junior High School, where he leads a team of four choir directors who teach 230 students daily. He also co-leads the Nixa Junior High School Leadership Council, where he helps facilitate innovative ideas from 40 student leaders. On the state level, Richter just completed his term as general music vice president for the Missouri Music Educators Association, where he selected performers for annual conferences serving 4,000 educators.

Proudest moment? Becoming a Grammy Music Educator Award semifinalist (top 25 in the nation).

What did you learn the hard way? Don’t dance too hard in front of middle school kids. You might rip your pants and be left without a backup pair.

Best celebrity meeting story? I received a text from Lucas Grabeel asking if he could record in my home studio. In my teenage years, I was obsessed with “High School Musical,” so getting to hang out with Lucas in my house was pretty stellar.

Favorite hobby or creative outlet? I am in the process of writing a musical called “Scouts” with some friends.

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