Megan Bee shares her music, writing retreats in Hocking Hills

Genoa – Singer-songwriter and Genoa native Megan Bihn, who goes by the name Megan Bee, says she found her voice around a campfire. She was traveling out West in the mid-2000s, sharing a campfire in the desert with friends, when she fell in love with singing.

“People started playing music, and I started singing, and I was like, ‘This is awesome,'” she said.

Soon after, a friend put a guitar in Bee’s hand and told her she had to learn to play because she liked to sing, so she did.

“It changed the whole course of my life,” she said. “I started playing open mics almost immediately.”

Since then, Bee has become a successful singer-songwriter who has released four albums and won several awards, including The Ark of Music Album of the Year and Ohio Music Awards Best Americana and Best Singer-Songwriter Albums. On July 21, she will open for the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band at the Peoples Bank Theater in Marietta.

“I’m very excited. It’s a great band, and it’s a really nice old theater,” Bee said.

Entertainer is the daughter of Gene and Amy Bihn

Bee is the daughter of Gene and Amy Bihn, who still reside in her childhood home in Genoa. Bee was a member of the group throughout her middle and high school years, and she joined the choir her senior year before graduating from Genoa High School in 2003. Bee left Genoa to attend Hocking College in southern Ohio, where she studied environmental education. After graduating, she worked in environmental education camps in the Hocking Hills area.

Bee has a softly powerful and melodious voice reminiscent of the natural world she references in her Folk-Americana songs. She sings of sunsets, blue jay cries, moth wings and moonflowers.

“I was really influenced by living in the southern part of the state. There’s a lot of Appalachian folk here, and I mixed that with current songwriting styles,” Bee said. “I draw a lot of metaphors, a lot of images of the natural world. This is where I draw my inspiration.

Bee may have found her voice in the desert and her writing inspiration in southern Ohio, but she developed her deep love for the natural world right here in Ottawa County.

Megan Bee, a 2003 Genoa High School graduate, felt her first connection to music as a member of the Genoa Middle School and Genoa High School band pictured here.  In addition to performing, Bee also offers writing retreats and workshops in the Hocking Hills area.

“I love Ottawa County. I love growing up there. It’s such a rich place. Magee Marsh and Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge is where I forged this love of nature,” she said. “I travel all over the country, and every time I go back to visit my parents, I realize how lucky I was.”

Bee offers courses, camps for young people

Besides writing songs, creating albums and performing, Bee also has a passion for sharing music with children. She has performed and taught songwriting classes to children in libraries, camps, youth centers and schools.

This year, Bee launched a new venture, “Words in the Hills,” where she offers writing retreats and workshops for adult writers of all genres amid the natural beauty of Hocking Hills. Retreats include sensory hikes, writing in the woods, and open mics around the campfire.

“I had been dreaming about it for years, and it kind of kicked off last year,” she said. “I love bringing people outdoors, I love writing, and I love teaching.”

More information about Megan Bee can be found at www.meganbeemusic.com. Information on writing retreats can be found at www.wordsinthehills.com.

Contact correspondent Sheri Trusty at [email protected]