Blake Richter, ’15, a teacher, musician and videographer, traveled with the Missouri State Chorale to Washington, D.C., to document the inauguration. We profiled him in January. Since then he’s been busy editing footage and winning teacher awards. He was the Nixa Public Schools Teacher of the Year all while providing behind the scenes coverage of the Chorale’s trip to Washington D.C.
As a Missouri State alum Blake was excited to experience the historic event. “I was proud to be a Bear and I was proud to know that I came out of the incredible Choral Studies program at MSU,” Blake said.
Director of Choral Studies Dr. Cameron LaBarr asked Blake, a former Chorale member, to use his skills to share the inauguration experience with others. Although singers were able to have some downtime after their performance, Blake spent most of his time in D.C. editing footage for his videos.
“My goal on this trip was to make family and friends at home feel like they were on the trip with us. It was 100% worth it. I loved seeing the reactions. It made me feel like my time on the trip was worthwhile,” Blake said.
Although Blake has recorded several concerts over the past five years, one performance stands out. His favorite, he said, was the Chorale concert at the National Presbyterian Church the day after the inauguration. This is the church where Frederick Douglass gave anti-slavery speeches in Washington, D.C.
“The combination of the acoustics at National Presbyterian and the beautiful voices of the Chorale made it effortless to create a great recording from that concert.”
Peaceful transfer of power
Blake said he was honored to be in the presence of former presidents, calling it “unforgettable.”
“While sitting at the inauguration, we were able to see five presidents at once,” Blake said. “It was also wonderful to see the peaceful transfer of power. It made me love and appreciate our country so much more.”
You can catch all of the videos from the Chorale’s historic trip on the Choral Studies YouTube channel.