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Follies 2004

The 32nd Annual Production of Follies opened on Thursday, April 1, in front of a packed East Fairmont High School Auditorium crowd.  As the curtains opened, the audience was treated to "That's Entertainment" and "Entertainment Tonight".  With a flash of the lights, the Honeybees joined the stage to dance to "Rock Fantasia".

The Honeybees perform during the opening dance number "Rock Fantasia"

Following a traditional concert piece, Windsongs, the band paid tribute to the classic songs of singer/songwriter Elton John playing "Sad Songs", "I Guess That's Why They Call It The Blues", "I'm Still Standing" and "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me". 

On of today's hottest Broadway tickets is for the production "Hairspray" based on a 1988 film about rock 'n' roll in 1962 Baltimore, MD.  When the show opened on Broadway in August of 2002, it was an instant smash, earning rave reviews from critics and garnering an impressive eight Tony awards in June of 2003, including Best Musical.  The Busy Bee Band & Honeybees have created their own takeoff on the musical classic with Will Neubaurer playing "Corny Collins" and the Honeybees participating in a beauty contest of looks and brains.

Corny Collins (Will Neubaurer) interviews contestants during Hairspray.

The band then performed James Ployhar's arrangement of the popular Shaker Hymn, Simple Gifts.  Caitlin Ahrens joined the Busy Bee Band on stage as she portrayed the character "Gollum" from the ever popular Lord of the Rings trilogy.  Those selections were followed with music from the hit television shows "The West Wing" and "JAG".

In 1975, Henry Mancini combined the rhythmic pulse of African tribal percussion with a "symphonic-style" orchestration that crossed both musical and cultural barriers.  In 1979, this selection was programmed for the first time for the 10th Annual Busy Bee Band Follies.  This selection was featured again during Follies 2004 and highlighted the diversity of the percussion section.

With the upcoming commemoration of the National World War II Monument in Washington, DC, the Busy Bee Band & Honeybees featured a colorful presentation of both architectural drawings and artist sketches depicting the newest memorial in our nation's capital as they presented James Curnow's Amber Waves of Grain.  The curtain closed for intermission following the long-standing trademark of the Honeybees, the traditional kickline to Chattanooga Choo-Choo.

The Honeybees take a ride on the "Honeybee Express" during Chattanooga Choo-Choo.

Following Intermission, the band opened with a crowd favorite, music from Andrew Lloyd Webber's Cats.  The Honeybees took to the stage during "The Awakening" and answered the question "What's a Jellicle Cat?" before dancing to "Jellicle Ball".

Claude T. Smith's concert piece Credence was followed by Tea for Two for Tubas which highlighted the 11-member sousaphone section of the Busy Bee Band.  From the 2003-2004 Field Show and Parade performances, the Busy Bee Band & Honeybees, under the direction of Queen Bee Kate McConnell, showcased "Strike Up the Band", "Swingin' Chariots" and "Bend Me, Shape Me" along with a percussion solo by the Busy Bee Band drumline.

The Busy Bee Band percussion section is featured during the Field Show Highlights

"Broadway Razzle-Dazzle" was next in line as the Busy Bee Band & Honeybees saluted the Seniors of the group as they took their final curtain call on the Follies Stage at East Fairmont.  This group was the last graduating class who marched in the January 20, 2001 Presidential Inaugural Parade in Washington, DC for President Bush.

Playing "Fantasy on the Marine's Hymn" and following a tribute to the Heroes of Iwo Jima and World War II and a look at those who followed their lead, the Busy Bee Band & Honeybees honored an American Hero, and West Virginia's only recipient of the Medal of Honor, Mr. Hershel "Woody" Williams.

Medal of Honor recipient Hershel "Woody" Williams addressed the audience during Follies.

Follies 2004 then closed with "There's No Business Like Show Business" and the traditional presentation of the "Busy Bee Band Bouquet" by Queen Bee Kate McConnell.

Superintendent of Marion County Schools, Dr. Phares, speaks to the
sell-out crowd during the opening night of Follies 2004.


*Click for Larger Pictures

Elton John Favorites



African Symphony

Theme from JAG

Chattanooga Choo-Choo

Chattanooga Choo-Choo

Chattanooga Choo-Choo


Sousa Spectacular

Senior Salute

Field Show Highlights

Field Show Highlights

Dr. Phares

"Woody" Williams

"Woody" Williams flanked by Marines




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