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Robert T. Gibson, 32, says he understands the power of music to forge connections across a broad spectrum of people.
“I have made it my mission to include diversity in everything that I do,” he says.
Gibson teaches vocal music at Reed Academy and Missouri State University, where he directs the Gospel Choir.
Gibson says creativity has helped his ensembles reach a higher level.
“My ability to strive for excellence even in the midst of a pandemic has caused my students to work harder and persevere,” he says.
In 2021, Gibson started a men’s choral group, Eclectic, featuring singers from all walks of life.
“This group has opened up more chances for these men to be more vulnerable and passionate about their musical craft,” he says.
Proudest moment? Performing with my students at the 2022 Missouri Music Education Association Conference. My kids sang with such passion and emotion, and they will forever be changed by that experience.
Best piece of advice you’ve ever received? Never teach for praise and applause; rather, teach to uplift, encourage and inspire your students.
Favorite local order? I am in love with the chicken tenders and hush puppies at Hot Cluckers.
The first downtown Springfield branch for Arvest Bank opened; a longtime licensed massage therapist became a first-time business owner; and 7 Brew Coffee opened its fourth shop in Springfield.