Kathy Murray's connection to Western Washington University runs deep. She got her master's degree in theater from Western and has spent more than 20 years working in Western's Office of Admissions, the Registrar's Office and as manager of Western's Testing Center.
But, Murray has another role that she fills outside Western. She is queen of The Honeybees, an all-woman quartet that sings songs from between the 1920s and ’60s and performs spontaneous, theatrical antics for birthday parties, retirement parties and other special functions. The Honeybees have published three albums over their 11-year history, Murray said.
"If anybody wants to buy a CD, come by my office!" Murray said on July 17 at Bellingham’s Joe Martin Field, where The Honeybees sang "The Star-Spangled Banner" before a Bellingham Bells game.
Fewer than 10 people at Western recognize Murray as queen of The Honeybees, she said. But she doesn't mind.
"Maybe people don't get the paper," she said with a laugh.
The Honeybees performed 10 gigs during a tour of California that ended in the last week of July.
"When we were in California, there were people just going, 'Oh, you made our day! All these memories that come flowing back to us,'" Murray said. "That's our passion, really, is to get these people to smile and to sing along."
Murray's plans for the future include publishing another album with children's songs in mind, and remaining queen of The Honeybees after she retires.