Gympie Today Catches The Buzz

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Honeybee Creative, a not for profit arts organisation working with people of varying disabilities based in Gympie, has won the esteemed National Award for Excellence in Music Education.

“Presented annually by APRA AMCOS and the Australian Music Centre, the Art Music Awards acknowledge the achievements of composers, performers, educators and leaders.

Honeybee Creative earned the Award for teaching neurologically diverse people music skills, songwriting and recording projects culminating in a series of live-streamed and public performances.

Honeybee Creative began as a small performance troupe in 2014 by James Warner, in the Mary Valley south of Gympie.

“Receiving this Award means a lot to all at Honeybee” James said.

“Apart from the National recognition from musical peers it validates how we mentor our unique project based training program.”

Every Thursday morning the group would workshop and train, and put together two original “sold out” shows a year, including “Who killed Snow White?” a humorous take where there were six endings, “Hill Spirits” an original musical composed by James, and “Bee FM” the hilarious goings on at a radio station.

The workshops soon grew to two days a week.

In 2019 NDIS was rolled out in Queensland, enabling Honeybee Creative to bring on board two more facilitators Keri-Dee MacDonald (a theatre and performance specialist for people with disabilities) and Stephan Beattie (a musician, production and graphics specialist) to create and perform a puppet extravaganza at the legendary Majestic Theatre at Pomona.

Then Covid hit in early 2020 which created major challenges.

After a crash course in “Zooming” and training members and their supports, they co-wrote, produced and released a CD “Harmony” and the end of year performance was live-streamed.

In 2021 they officially became a NFP Organisation and expanded to five days a week, with five facilitators, culminating in a two day series of workshops and performances that were also live-streamed, and run by several of their members.

Currently Honeybee Creative are working on a second album, creating a group video clip, and assisting four of its members producing their own projects”.

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