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 13th year this 2023, with its rich history and traditions.
Follies 2024 Scheduled
Follies 2024 will run from Thursday, April 4 to Sunday, April 7, 2024. Thursday - Saturday performances will be held at 7:30 p.m. with matinee held on Sunday, April 7 at 2:00 p.m. Follies 2024 will mark the 50th Anniversary of the long-standing spring tradition of the Busy Bee Band & Honeybees. Ticket information will be provided as the show approaches. We hope you can join us for the 50th Anniversary of Follies!
On Wednesday, July 19, the Busy Bee Band & Honeybees performed at the Opening Ceremonies for the World Association of Marching Show Bands in Buckhannon, West Virginia. The group was one of only two West Virginia bands to perform during the Opening Ceremonies for the event. The WAMSB is an international association that focuses on developing and showcasing marching bands from across the globe. This is the first time WAMSB has hosted an event on the East Coast and only the second time the competition has been held in the United States.
Over 17 countries will be participating in events and competitions throughout the weeklong event. A full schedule of events can be found on the WAMSB 2023 website. The Busy Bee Band & Honeybees will next perform at the WAMSB Parade of Nations on Saturday, July 22 in Buckhannon. The parade features all participating members and will begin at noon. The parade follows the Strawberry Festival Parade route. For the latest on the group, follow us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/busybeeband
The Busy Bee Band & Honeybees have a full schedule this fall with the following performances:
December 7, 2023, 7:00 p.m. - Fairmont Veterans Day Parade
December 9, 2023, 5:00 p.m. - Fairmont Christmas Parade
The Busy Bee Band & Honeybees returned from their trip aboard Royal Caribbean's Independence of the Sea on Monday, April 9th. Leaving from Port Canaveral, the ship traveled to Nassau, Bahamas where the Busy Bee Band performed in Rawson Square before spending a day on the island. The group also performed in the Star Lounge onboard the ship. On Sunday, the band spent a day at CocoCay Beach before returning home.
Follies 2023 opened on Thursday, March 30th with a preview for the East Fairmont High School Student Body and East Fairmont Middle School's Fifth Grade Class prior to opening to the public on Thursday evening and concluded Sunday afternoon. If you missed Follies 2023, video of the show is now available for purchase and instant viewing!
You can purchase Follies 2023 by visiting: https://vimeo.com/ondemand/follies2023
Busy Bee Band & Honeybees perform during Follies 2023
The Busy Bee Band & Honeybees traveled to Washington, DC on May 20th for a visit to the nation's Capital. While in Washington, the group attended the Evening Parade at the Marine Barracks Washington, also known as '8th & I' which is the oldest active post in the Marine Corp. The Evening Parade featured "The President's Own" United States Marine Band, "The Commandant's Own" The United States Marine Drum and Bugle Corps, the Marine Corps Color Guard, the Marine Corps Silent Drill Platoon, Ceremonial Marchers, and Cpl. Chesty XVI, the official mascot of Marine Barracks Washington on Friday evening. On Saturday, the band performed at the Marine Corps War Memorial followed by a trip to Arlington National Cemetery. On Saturday evening, the group traveled to Baltimore, Maryland to take a scenic dinner cruise in the famed Inner Harbor. Following a walking tour on Sunday, the band returned to Fairmont.
Unable to attend Follies 2022 or just want to relive the magic moments from the show? You can enjoy Follies 2022 for years to come by ordering the high definition digital copy today by following the link below! Link
You can also order previous recordings of Follies from WV MotionWorks from their video library: https://vimeo.com/showcase/3387709
The Busy Bee Band & Honeybees will return to their traditional Broadway Stage at East Fairmont High School for Follies 2022! The show will be performed Thursday, March 24th through Saturday, March 26th at 7:30 p.m. with an afternoon matinee on Sunday, March 27th at 2:00 p.m. Students are currently able to purchase tickets and tickets are on sale to the general public. To order tickets to Follies 2022, call the Busy Bee Band Ticket Office at (304) 366-7826. Please leave a message and someone will contact you to complete your order. We hope to see you there!
Follies 2022 to Return to East Fairmont Stage!
Busy Bee Band 2021 Field Show
North Marion High School, August 26, 2021
Purchase Busy Bee Band & Honeybees Gear
Be sure to check out Busy Bee Band & Honeybees apparel. It can even be customized to your liking!
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
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.
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