Steven Grady Darmody
Steve Darmody, award winning contemporary Christian artist, is a bass-baritone who is regarded as one of the outstanding voices in gospel music. President of the Morning Song Music Group, he has been featured internationally at stellar events and in some of the most celebrated venues.
Born in Huntsville, Texas, Darmody was one of three sons of Richard Gordon and Virginia Carole Brown Darmody. Raised an Adventist by his mother, a teacher in Seventh-day Adventist schools, he lived in several Southern states before leaving home to attend Jefferson Academy in 1971.
Although his father, who had left the family when Steve was six, had been a singer, Steve at first was not interested in singing. He took a few lessons on the clarinet in the fifth grade and then switched to oboe, which he played in the Bass Memorial Academy band while he was still in the seventh grade. In his freshman year at JA, the voice teacher and choir director, Bill (Sid) Mills, recognized Steve's potential and befriended him.
Mills gave him lessons and encouragement, and tricked him into singing during the Fall Week of Prayer. Although Steve was terrified as he started to sing that first time, he gained confidence as the song progressed and by the time he finished, had had an experience that literally transformed his life.
The following year, Darmody transferred to Valley Grande Academy for a year and then went to Chisolm Trail Academy, where he graduated in 1975. While attending academy, he decided to make God foremost in his life, and when he enrolled at Southern Missionary College, now Southern Adventist University, he pursued a degree in theology, graduating in 1978. In addition to his studies in theology, he studied voice under Dorothy Ackerman and Don Runyon.
Darmody subsequently attended Andrews University and graduated from the seminary at AU with an M.Div. in 1982. Shortly before leaving the seminary, Darmody started a concert and recording ministry by recording his first CD, Shall We Learn To Be Friends, with producer Sam Ocampo in the fall of 1981. The CD was recorded in Nashville, Tennessee, with arranger, Lari Goss.
Two years following graduation from AU, he adopted the name Morning Song and an appropriate logo for his personal concert ministry. The scope of that ministry expanded to include other singers, such as Vonda Beerman, Jennifer LaMountain, and Rudy Micelli, who in time developed their own independent international ministries.
Additionally, the ministry expanded to include a record label, a CD fabrication service, a graphic design company, a booking agency for many Christian artists, a tour and concert series coordinating service, an on-line CD store, an internet radio station, and a Christian cruise and travel promotion agency. Currently, these organizations and ministry businesses fall under the name of Morning Song Music Group, which serves as a hub for all services associated with Morning Star.
While serving as president of Morning Song for nearly thirty years, Darmody has maintained a rigorous performance schedule, giving on average of 100 concerts a year worldwide for a cumulative total exceeding 2500. In 1988 he was first-place winner in voice at the famous Estes Park Christian Music Seminar Vocal Competitions in Colorado.
After winning this award, releasing a second successful CD, Constant Refuge, in 1990, and completing thirteen years in denominational employment in three conferences, the final six as an ordained minister, he felt led to pursue a fulltime music career. In 1996 he made a guest appearance at the Olympics in Atlanta and has since sung for audiences at the Pentagon and in the U.S. Senate. He has performed on numerous college and university campuses and in the Crystal Cathedral, Carnegie Hall, and other distinguished concert halls and venues, as well as in hospitals, military bases, and shopping malls.
Darmody performs for all denominations and has sung at the national Southern Baptist Convention. He has appeared dozens of times on national Christian telecasts such as the Trinity Broadcasting Network, 3ABN, Daystar, Crossroads, and others and has sung for SDA Net Satellite meetings since 1995.
He has been a Week of Prayer speaker on numerous campuses and a guest speaker on the Cornerstone Television Network. He also delivered a baccalaureate address at Southern Adventist University. He is the voice for SafeTV and has served as host and narrator for a 3ABN Christmas special. Under his leadership, Morning Song has produced a multiple-artist Christmas tour for nine years.
He assisted Mark Finley in his crusades in the U.S. as well as in Romania and Australia, and has also worked with Adventist evangelists Kenneth Cox, Ron Halvorsen, C.E. Brooks, John Carter, and Lonnie Melashenko. He was the nightly musician for two video series produced by Cox. He has sung at nearly every annual ASI (Adventist-laymen Services and Industries) convention, participated in all the Voice of Prophecy Reunion Concert series and videos and Maranatha 2000, and was invited to sing twice during the evening weekend meetings at the 2005 SDA General Conference Session in St. Louis.
Darmody is married to Joni Louise Whitacre, a teacher who has taught at both the elementary and secondary levels. They presently live in Suwanee, Georgia.
Sources: Information provided by Steven Darmody; Reger Smith, Jr., "In All Directions," Adventist Review, Steve Darmody, "Story of My First Solo," www.plaxo.com; May 2005; Southern Tidings, January 1989, 9 and May 1993, 36; Christian Jazz Artists Network, www.songsofdavid.com; Other online sources.
Shall We Learn to Be Friends (1981)
Constant Refuge (1990)
Hymns On Heaven (1995)
Simple Gospel (2000)
One More Day (2004)
The Time That Remains (2007)
For Time and Eternity (2010)