Since 1991, Tom McDermott has performed for more than fifty thousand children and adults each year, singing motivational songs and weaving hilarious and heartfelt stories that inspire creativity and critical thinking in all who listen. Hoping to spread his passion for tales and tunes onto the next generation, he created Keep the Beat, a performance-based program that teaches children rhythmic skills using everyday items.
Earning his MDiv from Brite Divinity School and his BA from the University of Texas at Austin, McDermott first delivered his stories from the pulpit as a Methodist minister. His love of storytelling grew, and he decided to pursue a life as a modern minstrel, incorporating a guitar, ukulele, hurdy gurdy, theremin, bodhran, lyre, flute, and drums into his word-based performances. McDermott travels across the country, performing at festivals, schools, and corporate events, where he often leads drum circles and workshops to encourage team building.
For his masterful performances, McDermott was awarded first place in the National Irish Storytelling Contest and the John Henry Faulk Award for excellence and contributions in storytelling. He is the former president of the Tejas Storytelling Association and is a member of the National Storytelling Network. McDermott has been published in Storytelling Magazine and has released two CDs of his songs and stories. He is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators.
In his free time, McDermott enjoys cycling and co-leads the 11:11 Celebration at his church. He lives with his wife and sons in Fort Worth, Texas.