East Fairmont High School
Busy Bee Band & Honeybees
The East Fairmont High School “Busy Bee Band & Honeybees” is the marching band named for the high school in Fairmont, West Virginia. The unique name of the group was adopted in the summer of 1969, two years after Earl W. McConnell, Sr. had been employed as Band Director of East Fairmont High School. His wife, Millie McConnell, who taught English at EFHS, was the Choreographer of the majorettes, which were newly titled as “Honeybees,” along with the “Queen Bee” title taking place of Drum Major or Field Commander.
Seven years later, on July 1,1976, Earl W. McConnell, Jr., after being Band Director at Grafton High School from 1973-1976, was employed as Assistant Band Director at EFHS. Mr. McConnell, Sr. then proposed the title of “Co-Directors” for the band which was the first “Father/Son” directorship in Marion County and possibly even in the state of West Virginia.
Twelve years later, Mr. McConnell, Sr., retired his position of 21 years at EFHS and the baton was passed to his son on July 1, 1988. Eight months later, January 20, 1989, Mr. McConnell Sr. would receive his greatest reward as he watched “his” Busy Bee Band & Honeybees march past the most famous address in America, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue - - “The White House”, for the prestigious Presidential Inaugural Parade for George H.W. Bush, 41st U.S. President. The Busy Bee Band & Honeybees were the sole representatives of the State of West Virginia, and their performance was televised world wide, reaching hundreds if millions of people.
Eleven years later, in 2001, following their appearance in the 2000 “Tournament of Roses Parade” in Pasadena, California, the BBB&H returned for their second Presidential Inaugural Parade, marching down Pennsylvania Avenue past the White House again for another Bush, that being George W., the 43rd U.S. President of the United States.
On June 30, 2010, Mr. McConnell Jr. stepped down as Director following a 34-year run, which also ended a 43-year span longevity with the name “McConnell” as Director of the Busy Bee Band & Honeybees.
On July 1, 2010, Marion County Schools turned over the reigns of the group to Mr. T.J. Bean, an alumnus of the band, who has continued to move the Busy Bee Band & Honeybees for his 10th year this 2020, with its rich history and traditions.
Busy Bee Band - Final Performances of 2020-2021
Thursday, May 27, 6:00 p.m. - Three Rivers Parade. Starts on West Side at corner of 3rd Street and Fairmont Avenue. Goes down Fairmont Avenue/Main Street, makes right onto Jefferson Avenue and across the Million Dollar Bridge. Turn left at end of Bridge make left onto Merchant Street. The band will march up to East Fairmont Middle School. (Band should meet at First Exchange Bank Parking lot, which is located at cover of 3rd Street and Fairmont Avenue by 5:15 p.m. - students should show up fully uniformed.)
Friday, May 28, 7:00 p.m.- Graduation will be held at East-West Stadium. More details to come. Students should show up fully uniformed and be prepared to return the uniform at graduation has completed.
The Busy Bee Band & Honeybees were able to put on a show for a large crowd on May 22nd at Palatine Park in Fairmont. Since we were unable to have our traditional Follies at East Fairmont High School, we brought as much of Follies as we could down to the edge of the Monongahela River. Jennifer Lucas and Star Design Lighting from Pittsburgh setup the lighting for the show, Kevin Nicholas provided the voice of the show, a tradition that began in 1993, and alumnus Chris Moran filmed the show and provided a livestream for those who were unable to attend. And the Busy Bee Band Boosters added a lower stage to the main stage at Palatine for the Honeybees and the Busy Bee Band Percussion would have more room to demonstrate their skills.
The show featured a traditional opener, with "That's Entertainment" and featured the Honeybees in "Rock Fantasia." Next for the band was Legends of Rock, a culmination of class rock songs including "Hit Me With Your Best Shot," "Barracuda," "Paranoid," and the Kiss-classic "Rock and Roll All Night." Then a brief tv flashback with "Theme from A-Team" and the Honeybees dancing to "Hawaii Five-O Theme." A salute to the automobile industry showed the band play "Vehicle," "Car Wash" and "Mustang Sally." Saturday morning cartoons were remembered as the band played Cartoon Carnival, a medley of the themes of such memorable shows as "The Jetsons," "The Flintstones" and "Animaniacs." The first half of the show featured the Honeybees dancing to the Duke Ellington Class "It Don't Mean A Thing."
After a brief intermission, the band returned to feature the saxophone section in "The Benny Hill Show Theme." We then honored the Class of 2021 and their dedication and commitment to the Busy Bee Band & Honeybees during this most unusual time by playing the traditional "Broadway Razzle-Dazzle." We then took a moment to remember the matriarch of the Busy Bee Band & Honeybees who passed from this Earth earlier this year. In sticking with her loves - her frequent visits to New York to stay up on the latest styles to bring back to our group - we dedicated "New York, New York" and the Bob Hope Classic "Thanks for the Memory" to the memory of Mrs. Mildred "Millie" McConnell. She may not have been in attendance, but all the years of work she had done with the Band & Honeybees over the past 5-decades made her presence felt in every action we took. A remarkable person.
The Honeybees then debuted new uniforms as they presented the traditional Honeybee kickline to John Philip Sousa's "Stars and Strips Forever." Next, the Busy Bee Band Percussion took to the stage to present their annual solo, which was place in the middle of a medley of tunes from the French Electronic Music Duo Daft Punk. Curtain calls followed with the presentation of the Busy Bee Band Bouquet to Ms. Debbie Boggs, longtime seamstress of the Busy Bee Band & Honeybees.
If you missed the show, you can watch it below. If you would like to make a donation to help offset the cost of putting on the free show at Planatine Park, you can use the donate button at the top of this page. Thank you for your continued support!
"Music on the Mon" 2021 Concludes
Busy Bee Band & Honeybees perform at East-West Stadium on October 23, 2020 at East Fairmont hosted Hampshire High School
Sign-Up with REMIND
To keep up with changing practices and other band notifications, we encourage members and parents of members of the Busy Bee Band & Honeybees to sign-up with Remind, which will provide a text message for any important announcements: NOTE - NOTE - NOTE -- you must at the @ sign at the beginning
Seniors - Class of 2021: Please text @bbbh202 to this number: 81010
Juniors - Class of 2022: Please text @bbbh2022 to: 81010
Sophomores - Class of 2023, text @bbbh2023 to 81010
Freshmen - Class of 2024, text @bbbh2024 to 81010
Purchase Busy Bee Band Apparel:
Be sure to check out Busy Bee Band & Honeybees apparel. It can even be customized to your liking!
2000 TOURNAMENT OF ROSES TRIP COVERAGE
CELEBRATING 20 YEARS
It has now been twenty years since the Busy Bee Band & Honeybees made their historic trip to Pasadena, California for the 111th Tournament of Roses Parade. Over the next several days, we will be posting videos from that trip. So join us for a trip down memory lane!
On January 1, 2000, the Busy Bee Band & Honeybees marched into history as they performed in the 111th Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, California. The group prepared for over a year for what remains the most anticipated and most watched parade in the world. Over 465 million people watch the parade in 100 countries around the world. The Tournament of Roses Parade draws coverage from all three major networks (ABC, CBS and NBC) and is broadcast on the Home & Garden Television Network and VIDEOSPEC. The U.S. Armed Forces Television Network also distributes the program live.
The Tournament of Roses Parade is considered the most unique parade in the world, consisting only of Bands, Floats and Equestrian units. Starting as early as 6:30 p.m. on New Year's Eve, more than one million people are allowed to "hold" their spots on the streets of Pasadena, awaiting the 8:00 a.m. (PST) start of the parade.
January 3, 2000
After a trip that included performances at Bandfest near the famous Rose Bowl Stadium, the 111th Tournament of Roses Parade and the Main Street, USA Parade in Disneyland - and visits to Beverly Hills and Santa Monica Pier, it was time for the Busy Bee Band & Honeybees to return to Fairmont on four separate flights. Over the next couple days, we'll wrap up the 20th Anniversary of our trip to Pasadena.
January 2, 2000
After the magnitude of the 111th Tournament of Roses Parade performance, the "short" parade down Main Street, USA in Disneyland was a relativity simple task. In performing at Disneyland, the Busy Bee Band & Honeybees became the first West Virginia high school band to perform at both Disney Complexes in the United States.
January 1, 2000
The morning of January 1, 2000 came quickly for members of the Busy Bee Band & Honeybees as they woke from their slumber at 4:00 a.m. to prepare for their 6.5 mile parade. Chaperones and guests were transported to their location in the viewing stands while Paul Pyles, Asst. Band Director Tom Straight, Choreographer Tracey Linn and Director Earl McConnell escorted the group to their starting location. Beyond a set of multiple "exploding," things could not have gone smoother for the group as they stepped off for the legendary parade at 8:00 a.m. PST. Playing "Swingin' Chariots" and "Strike Up The Band," the group made their turn from Orange Grove Boulevard onto Colorado Boulevard in front of a worldwide audience of nearly 500 million. The parade is covered by all three major networks (ABC, CBS and NBC) and is broadcast on the Home & Garden Television Network and VIDEOSPEC. The U.S. Armed Forces Television Network also distributes the program live.
Upon completion of the parade, the band returned to their hotel for an afternoon barbecue and had the opportunity to watch the parade on television as local station WTLA in Los Angeles and HGTV aired the parade on repeat for the rest of the day. Below is all stations who carried the parade - previously, due to YouTube length restrictions, we were only able to post 10-minutes worth of coverage.
December 31, 1999
Albert Hammond may have claimed in never rained in Southern California but a cool winter day and threats of rain surrounded the group on Friday, December 31 as they traveled to Santa Monica Pier. While hardly warm enough to take a dip in the Pacific Ocean, the group came as close as possible as they marched along the shore's edge. Following the pier visit, the band headed to Hard Rock Cafe for lunch before taking a tour of Beverly Hills.
Back at the hotel preparations were well underway to send out 1999 and celebrate a New Year. Upon arrival at the hotel, the students changed into their dress clothes and were greeted in the hotel ballroom with a party for the century. After watching New Year's celebrations for the Eastern and Central Time Zones, the group was promptly sent to get some rest because the next morning would be an early wake-up to march in the 6.5 mile Rose Bowl Parade.
December 30, 1999
Thursday, December 30, 1999, was a full day for the Busy Bee Band & Honeybees. A trip to the Rose Bowl Stadium was on the agenda and, after a couple buses found their way to the stadium after a slight detour, the band found themselves at the historic stadium. While there, the band was afforded the opportunity to review the float making process, have lunch inside the Rose Bowl and perform at Bandfest, which was held outside the stadium.
Upon arrival at the stadium, the group was allowed to perform their field show once before Bandfest and that's when we discovered what was left in Fairmont -- drumsticks. The snare players were under impression that new sticks awaited them in sunny Pasadena -- a message that never actually made it's way to California. After some frantic phone calls and the assurance from another band at the Rose Bowl they would allow us to borrow their sticks if needed, a relatively close music store was found and drumsticks were procured before the actual performance -- for the run-through, the snare players used their dowel rods that were meant for the barrels...not the cleanest sounding things.
In & Out burger awaited the group for lunch - which was held inside the historic Rose Bowl - and, afterwards, the group performed for the large crowd at Bandfest and posed for the incredible picture in front of the Rose Bowl. All in all it turned out to be an exciting and memorable day for a variety of reasons. You can see that Bandfest performance now on YouTube -- to keep up with new videos, subscribe to our YouTube channel - EFHSBusyBeeBand.
December 29, 1999
On Wednesday, December 29, 1999, the Busy Bee Band & Honeybees began their trek to Pasadena, California, splitting the group onto four separate flights out of Pittsburgh International Airport. Snow fell throughout the day and, with Mr. McConnell already in Pasadena, the groups were greeted at the bandroom by Mike, Brian and Mr. Bean, who stayed at the high school all night to make sure everyone arrived and departed for their flight and provided Mr. McConnell updates whenever he called.
By Wednesday night, all students and chaperones were at the hotel but not the instruments, which were shipped separately. After a few anxious hours, the instruments safely arrived at the hotel and all seemed well. Only one hiccup, which we wouldn't find until the next day...
December 28, 1999
December 27, 1999
Pictures for the 2019 Annual Fairmont Veterans Day Parade on November 11, 2019
Members of the Busy Bee Band & Honeybees celebrate with the East Fairmont Bees football team following their 40-8 victory over Berkeley Springs at East-West Stadium
The Busy Bee Band & Honeybees present their 2019 Field Show at the Morgantown Band Spectacular at Milan Puskar Stadium in Morgantown, WV
On Friday, October 1, 2004, on the campus of East Fairmont High School, a dedication ceremony took place for the unveiling of the Veterans Memorial Plaza located near the front entrance of the school. The plaza was designed and donated by East Fairmont alumnus Clyde Dodd, and was constructed by Valley General Contracting of Fairmont. The dedication featured as guest speaker Mr. Hershel "Woody" Williams - a Marion County native and recipient of the Congressional Medal of Honor which he received for his actions on the island of Iwo Jima in 1945 during World War II. Full Story
Clyde Dodd cuts the ribbon to dedicate the new Veterans Memorial Plaza at East Fairmont High School. L-R. Mr. Hershel "Woody" Williams, Mrs. Bernie Dodd, Mr. Keith Holt, Mr. Clyde Dodd and Major Michael Morrison. .
The 2019-2020 Busy Bee Band & Honeybees perform during their first show of the season at North Marion High School
The Busy Bee Band & Honeybees present their 1999 Field Show at the Fairmont Senior Polar Bear Band Spectacular at East-West Stadium in Fairmont, WV
From their 1968 Spring Concert, the Busy Bee Band, under the direction of Earl W. McConnell, Sr., presents Seventy-Six Trombone
We take you back to a Fall of 1993 Patriotic performance at East/West Stadium as the Busy Bee Band & Honeybees reenacted the famous raising of the American Flag atop Mount Suribachi on Iwo Jijma as captured by the camera of Joe Rosenthal.
In 2003, the Busy Bee Band & Honeybees traveled to Jacksonville, Florida to perform in the 2004 Gator Bowl Parade in downtown Jacksonville and perform during halftime of the Gator Bowl. It just so happened West Virginia made the Gator Bowl that year as well, so it was a very exciting time with a lot of terrific West Virginia fans (but don't ask about the outcome of the game). While in Jacksonville, the group joined other bands from around the area to perform an exhibition at a local high school, which you can watch below!
The East Fairmont High School Busy Bee Band & Honeybees present their 2004 Field Show at the Bethel Park Band Festival in Bethel Park
Patriotic Performances from the Busy Bee Band & Honeybees
To celebrate this 4th of July week, everyday we will bring you a Patriotic Performance from the Busy Bee Band & Honeybees. To close out the week, we bring you the combined bands of the Busy Bee Band and the Fairmont Senior High School Polar Bear Band as they collaborate for the 2007 pre-game show prior to the 87th East-West Game at East-West Stadium. "Armed Forces Salute" was played by the groups as each branch of military service was recognized.
Recently Updated Pages:
Following the successful run of Follies 2019, the Busy Bee Band and Honeybees made their annual Spring trip this year to Nassau, Bahamas. Leaving on Wednesday, April 24, the band made their way to Cape Canaveral, Florida where they embarked upon a 4-day, 3-night cruise on the Carnival Liberty. Full Story
The 7th and 8th grade band and choir programs at East Fairmont Middle School performed 2 concerts in the gymnasium of EFMS on Tuesday, May 28th. The band portion began with the combined groups playing “America, the Beautiful.” Full Story
Follies 2019 finished its 4-show run on Sunday, April 7th. Highlights from the show included music from ABBA's Mamma Mia!, a tribute to the '90s, and the ever-popular Honeybee kickline to "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy." The spring tradition brought nearly 3,000 spectators to the East Fairmont Auditorium. Full Story
Order your copy of Follies 2019 today for immediate viewing!
The Busy Bee Band Herald Fanfare Trumpets made their debut at Follies 1992 - playing "Queen's Fanfare," composed by Earl W. McConnell, Jr.; Fanfare from "Emperata Overture" and "Radio Festival Fanfare" composed by Dr. William Moffit