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59th Annual Toyota Gator Bowl

January 1, 2004 - Jacksonville, Florida


Busy Bee Band & Honeybees in the 59th Annual Toyota Gator Bowl

Highlights from each day:

Tuesday | Wednesday | Thursday

Tuesday, December 30, 2003

The day began with the group arriving for an early breakfast and then a quick trip out to Terry Parker High School for a rehearsal in preparation for the evening band spectacular performance.  After the hour-long practice, the group traveled to a nearby mall for lunch and then traveled out to the beach for a quick play at the Atlantic Coast.


The evening closed with a performance at Bolles High School as the group participated in a band spectacular with several other high school groups that are participating in the Gator Bowl festivities.

Wednesday, December 31, 2003

Following a continental breakfast at the Holiday Inn, the group returned to Terry Parker High School for their first rehearsal with other participating high school groups in preparation for the mass band halftime performance.  Ken Dye, band director at the University of Notre Dame, directed the 1500-member group in his arrangement of a Beach Boys Medley and "Hey, Hey Baby".

Following practice, the group ate lunch at Parker High and quickly traveled to downtown Jacksonville for the Winn-Dixie Gator Bowl Parade that was televised regionally on the Sunshine Network.  The group was greeted by several thousand Mountaineer fans who loudly supported the home state group.  WDTV Channel 5 also met up with the group for a taping for the local news.

Wednesday evening, the band joined the other participating high school organizations for an awards ceremony and banquet hosted by Bowl Games of America at the Prime E. Osburn Convention Center in downtown Jacksonville.  The Busy Bee Band & Honeybees received awards for 3rd place Field Show, 4th place parade and received awards for Best Overall Music and Best Overall Auxiliary.  Following the awards and dinner, Bowl Games provided entertainment for a celebration of the New Year.

Thursday, January 1, 2004

On Thursday, January 1, 2004, East Fairmont's Busy Bee Band & Honeybees joined several other high school groups from around the country to perform at the 2004 Gator Bowl Parade in Jacksonville, Florida.  Over 78,000 people attended the traditional bowl game between the West Virginia Mountaineers and Maryland Terrapins.  The attendance level was a new record for Alltel Stadium, home of the Jacksonville Jaguars.  Despite a lackluster performance by the Mountaineer football team, the band enjoyed the 70-degree weather and Florida sunshine.

Arriving at the stadium at 8:00 a.m., the band joined the other groups for one last practice together for the 12:30 game.  Following a brief rehearsal, the group ate lunch at the stadium and took their seats to watch the game.  Mid-way through the second quarter, the band filed to a staging area and took the field at halftime.  Ken Dye, director from Notre Dame University, lead the 1800-piece ensemble in his arrangements of "Hey Baby" and "Beach Boys Medley".  Following the performance, the group returned to their seats to watch the remainder of the contest.

Thursday evening, the band returned to the hotel to pack instruments and uniforms and have dinner.  The group left Jacksonville early Friday morning to return to Fairmont.