East Fairmont High School
Busy Bee Band & Honeybees
The East Fairmont High School Busy Bee Band & Honeybees is the marching band from East Fairmont High School located in Fairmont, West Virginia. The unique name of the group was adopted by Earl W. McConnell, Sr. and his wife, choreographer of the Honeybees, Millie McConnell. The drum major of the group is titled "Queen Bee." In 1976, Earl W. McConnell, Jr. became co-director of the organization. In 2009, Mr. McConnell stepped down as director and turned the reins over to Mr. TJ Bean, an alumnus of the band himself. The group has long prided itself on its rich history and tradition.
The band performs at every home football game at East-West Stadium and travels to several away games throughout the year. When traveling, the group requires six Marion County school buses or four charter buses to accommodate band membership and personnel. As an ambassador of Fairmont and the State of West Virginia, the band has performed at twenty-four Pittsburgh Steelers football games, the 2004 Gator Bowl in Jacksonville, Florida, the 2005 and 2009 Inaugural Parades of Governor Joe Manchin, the 1989 and 2001 Presidential Inaugural Parades in Washington DC and the 2000 Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, California. Over the past 50+ years the group has performed at Walt Disney World thirteen times, with the most recent trip being in 2017; traveled to New York City five times, where in 2006 they became the first high school band to perform at Rockefeller Center in over 40 years; and have made numerous trips to the Pittsburgh area, Washington DC, Toronto Canada, Atlanta Georgia and Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.. In April 2019, the group made took its fourth cruise to Nassau, Bahamas aboard the Carnival Liberty.
We sadly announce the cancellation of Follies 2020
It is with great sorrow and reluctance that we officially announce the cancellation of Follies 2020. The safety and wellness of West Virginia students must come first and, by the time it is determined that schools are safe again, it will be too late for us to coordinate the many, many aspects of Follies (including lighting, video, audio, etc.). We did not make this decision lightly - much debate occurred between Mr. Bean, Ms. Michael and Mr. Swisher and we unanimously felt this was our only option.
With that said, we are investigating potentially performing pieces of Follies in coordination with another local event. However, we cannot begin to coordinate any future performance until restrictions on school and practice have been lifted. We share in your great disappointment. Anyone who paid for a Follies 2020 ticket should receive a refund from the student they purchased the ticket from. We promise that Follies 2021 will return with the excitement which you have come to expect.
On a second, and even more devastating note to the Busy Bee Band & Honeybees, it has become apparent that we must cancel our Spring Fruit Sale. The Spring Fruit Sale provides us nearly 20% of our entire yearly budget. Losing that money could be detrimental to the entire organization. We are asking our patrons to consider a couple options: 1) you may request a refund from the student from which you ordered fruit; or 2) you may contact the band member and request your purchase be converted to a donation to the band. Any donation can go a long way to help us recover the money lost from the cancellation of Follies and the Spring Fruit Sale. If you choose to donate, we will be forever grateful.
Lastly, due to the lateness in returning to school and the work that will need to be made up, it has been determined that a trip, despite how short, would be in poor taste. Students have missed far too many days of school to attempt a trip at this late date. Students will incur no charge from the cancelled Washington, DC Trip.
This has been a very odd Spring, to say the least. If you can afford a donation in lieu of fruit, we will be extremely grateful. However, should you request a refund, we completely understand. Those who can turn their previous fruit sales into donations help us ensure a proper and successful start into the 2020 - 2021 year. If you wish to donate to the Busy Bee Band, you may do so on our web-site at www.busybeeband.com or mail donations to: Busy Bee Band & Honeybees, c/o East Fairmont High School, 1993 Airport Road, Fairmont, WV 26554. Please feel free to contact me for additional information and, as always, we appreciate your continued support of the Busy Bee Band & Honeybees!
Mr. TJ Bean, Director
Ms. Kelly Michael, Choreographer
Mr. Mike Swisher, Asst. Director
To Donate to the Busy Bee Band, click the link at the top of the page.
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
Purchase Busy Bee Band Apparel:
Be sure to check out Busy Bee Band & Honeybees apparel. It can even be customized to your liking!
Changes with REMIND!!!
Remind has limited people to 150 per class, which is why some of you may have noticed you were unceremoniously dumped. But here are new numbers -- please sign up with your group: NOTE - NOTE - NOTE -- you must at the @ sign at the beginning
Amazing Senior Class of 2020: Please @bbbh20 to this number: 81010
Future Seniors - Class of 2021: Please text @bbbh202 to this number: 81010
To our amazing sopho moros Class of 2022: Please text @bbbh2022 to: 81010
And to the future of our band, Freshman - Class of 2023, text @bbbh2023 to 81010
Give Back to the East Fairmont High School Foundation
Amazon Prime users -- how would you like to help the East Fairmont High School Foundation? Did you know that if you go to smile.amazon.com you can pick a charity to support and one of those charities is the East Fairmont Foundation. If you already have a charity chosen, choose the charity at the top of the page and choose change and type in East Fairmont High School Foundation Inc. The Foundation has provided a lot of support to East Fairmont, including providing scholarships, educational mini-grants and providing other items to support the school. Pictures are attached on how to change your charity -- every little bit counts so please consider assisting the East Fairmont High School Foundation!
Here is how you can change your charitable donation on Amazon Prime:
1) Go to smile.amazon.com and choose the group your supporting:
2) Choose "Change" next to the foundation you had previously chosen
3) Search for the East Fairmont High School Foundation Inc.
4) Be sure to chose EFHS Foundation as your preferred charity
The Foundation has provided over 1 million dollars in scholarships to East Fairmont High School Students, provides mini-grants for educations projects and supports many of the art and athletic programs at East Fairmont. All contributions help East Fairmont so please consider changing your charity and encouraging others to do the same!
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.
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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