McDermott to perform at Children's Day

This year, a national star of the world of kids — Joe McDermott – will take the Johnson Park amphitheater during Children's Day Saturday, April 15.

The 17th annual Marble Falls event will be going on from 10 a.m. with opening ceremonies and the balloon release to 3 p.m. when prize drawings should be complete.

McDermott is scheduled for 11 a.m., compliments of the Marble Falls Library.

“We have tried to get him for a performance for years,” said Misty Smith, Youth Services librarian. “He is just so popular. His songs for children are catchy and funny. You can see him on YouTube and he has a fifth CD coming out with its own coloring book.”

For the unitiated, a person can tap in to a taste of McDermott's work on YouTube where the video for his all-time kid favorite, “Kitty Fight Song,” plays. That is, if you haven't heard the tune already on XM Radio where it is loved.

“I try to write beautiful music for children, but I seem to be most remembered for that, for “Don't Drop a Brick on Your Toe” or for “I am baby, I am trouble, I can walk,” from my first CD.”

A Chicagoian turned Austinite, McDermott was the youngest of eight children and loved music from the beginning to present day with a solid three decades of family music to his credit.

"It all started out with a coffee can and a couple of drumsticks my dad gave to me. I think he was sorry he got them." His first gig was when he and his brother performed at a Harlem Globetrotters show. Five year old McDermott played drums and sang "Where Have All the Flowers Gone?" with his older brother.

All he wanted to do from that point on was make music and make people smile. His next big show was in the 4th grade, when he played drums in his brother's rock band.

As he grew, McDermott's creative endeavors shifted for awhile to fine art and painting. While he learned to play guitar and played in rock bands, he moved to Austin and earned a Fine Arts degree from the University of Texas. Hoping to make it in the art world, he took a job as an art teacher at Athena Montessori. Five years later, he opened his own preschool, The Phoenix School, in Central Austin. Little did he know how this melding of creativity and immersion in early childhood education would lead to his future career as one of the nation’s top children’s music recording artists. "It’s amazing how it all evolved so organically. I’m not sure about fate, but it seemed there has been a guiding hand in this," McDermott says.

In a rambling old Austin house, McDermott and his wife ran the preschool in the front two rooms, and on the weekends played music in the back room studio with friends. McDermott realized that children were an unending source of inspiration for songwriting. One year, he recorded a tape with the school children as a Christmas gift for the parents. The positive response added to his own experiences as a parent made songwriting for children an irresistible force.

McDermott latest recording, “Coconut Beach,” is an audio CD and coloring book made to be fun to color for kids and adults too.

17th Annual Children's Day Event Schedule

  • 10-10:15 a.m. – Opening Ceremony with former County Judge Donna Klaeger presiding; prayers by Father Bruce Nieli and the Rev. Jim Booth; Children's Day Proclamation by Mayor John Packer' Flag Ceremony by Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 10376' National Anthem by Bluebonnet Chorale

  •   Balloon Release by Rotary Club

  • 10:15 a.m.-1 p.m. – Free Games & LearningCenters

  • 10:15 a.m.-1:15 p.m.--Talent Show under the direction of Barbara Bend and Bill Rives

  • 1:30 p.m. – Prize Ticket distribution

  • 2 p.m. – Ronald McDonald Go Active Show

  • 2:30 p.m. – Prize Drawings

  • Children's Day is a rain or shine event. Showers never slow it down in Johnson Park, 203 Avenue J in Marble Falls. But in case of severe weather, it all goes on at Marble Falls Middle School, 1511 Pony Drive, behind H-E-B in Marble Falls

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