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2019 40 Under 40: Cameron LaBarr, 34

Director of Choral Studies, Missouri State University

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Cameron LaBarr is building the reputation of his alma mater through song. He’s also providing once-in-a-lifetime experiences to his choral students. Since 2014, LaBarr has led performance trips nationwide and to Africa, Asia and Europe.

LaBarr says he’s most proud of the chorale’s 15-day trip to China last summer, the only U.S. choir invited by the Ministry of Culture. LaBarr also conducted his students at President Donald Trump’s inauguration, broadcast to over 30 million viewers. To help fund these experiences, he created an endowment that has so far raised $150,000.

LaBarr earned his doctorate in choral conducting from the University of North Texas at age 26. Outside of MSU, he manages a 50-property real estate portfolio.

What are you doing to make the Ozarks better? I’m part of a large team of people at MSU who are all taking an active role in educating our workforce and future leaders. It’s truly becoming one of the finest institutions of higher education in the country.

What is your best productivity hack? I put tasks with specific dates and times directly into my calendar rather than keeping a to-do list.

What was your professional aha moment? Watching my students grow and thrive on a daily basis is more important than comparing our successes with others.

Have you ever met a celebrity? Angela Lansbury backstage after a Broadway show. She’s my celebrity crush.

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