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2009 - 2012


Earl McConnell, Jr.

Carrying the Torch

School Band and Orchestra - April 2009

by Denyce Neilson


Governor Joe Manchin addresses members of the Busy Bee Band & Honeybees during his Inaugural Parade in Charleston, West Virginia in 2009.  Full Story

2010 Spring Trip to New York City


During their 2010 trip to New York City, the Busy Bee Band & Honeybees performed a military salute aboard the USS Intrepid Aircraft Carrier


The group also performed at CBS Studios during their NYC trip.  Following the performance, the group was invited into the studios for a tour.  Band member Jack DeVault is interviewed by a director of the CBS Morning Show during the band's visit.

The following is an article from the Times West Virginian: Wednesday, July 7, 2010. Written By J. Miles Layton.


Bean to 'Carry Torch Forward' at EFHS


East Fairmont High School has a new band director.  “It’s an absolute honor to be the new band director,” said T.J. Bean, 34, an EFHS alumnus.  “It’s a dream come true. This is something I’ve always wanted to do.”


The Marion County Board of Education approved Bean as band director and Robert W. Moore as principal for Monongah Elementary School at Tuesday’s meeting. Assistant Superintendent Gary Price said both men will start their jobs immediately.  Price said Bean was one of nine candidates who applied for the job, and the only internal candidate from Marion County. Price said using the state’s criteria, Bean scored higher than the other candidates based on his qualifications, certifications and experience.


When Bean was in high school, he played trombone as a member of the EFHS Marching Band. After graduating from EFHS in 1994, Bean joined the U.S. Marines, where he served as a combat engineer. He graduated from Fairmont State University in 1999 and started his teaching career at Meadow Bridge High School in Fayette County. He later became band director at Braxton County High School before coming home to Marion County to become the assistant band director at North Marion High School.


“Mr. Bean is a former member of the East Fairmont High School band who has developed the experience and expertise to work as band director at Braxton County High School and later as assistant band director at North Marion High School,” Price said. “He will be very popular with students and boosters.”


Bean said this year’s seniors have a unique opportunity to shine because of a new face and maybe a desire to prove themselves again to Earl McConnell, who retired as band director. During the more than three decades of the McConnell era, the band won numerous awards, played at Pittsburgh Steelers football games, marched in inaugural parades for two presidents and entertained troops serving aboard the aircraft carrier USS Intrepid. EFHS has about 160-170 students in its marching band program.


“We are not going to let him down,” Bean said. “Mr. McConnell was there when I was there. So it is important for me and the band to carry the torch forward. The kids will soon find out that I will teach as I was taught — the McConnell way. There may be a minor twist here and there, but you don’t mess with success.”


Bean’s wife Adrienne and his sisters Beth and Kim were members of the EFHS Band as well. “It’s great to be coming home and wonderful to be back with family,” Bean said. “This is a thrill to be back at my alma mater. This is more than just a homecoming, but a part of who I am.”

2011 Spring Trip to Washington, D.C.


2012 Spring Trip to Nassau, Bahamas


The Busy Bee Band & Honeybees traveled to Nassau, Bahamas in 2012 aboard the Monarch of the Seas.  While traveling, the group performed in Rawson Square and aboard the ship.  While performing in Nassau, the band received a Certificate of Appreciate from the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism.  Above, L-R: Band Commander Evan Michael, Director TJ Bean, Queen Bee Kristen Campbell and the Bahamas Director of Tourism.

"Busy Bee Band Follies"

Follies 2009

Earl W. McConnell, Director

Kelly Michael, Choreographer

Members of the 2008-09 "Busy Bee Band & Honeybees"

"Busy Bee Band & Honeybees"

2009 - 2010 Field Show Roster

Earl W. McConnell, Director

Kelly Michael, Choreographer

Members of the 2009-10 "Busy Bee Band & Honeybees"

"Busy Bee Band Follies"

Follies 2011

TJ Bean, Director

Kelly Michael, Choreographer

Members of the 2010-11 "Busy Bee Band & Honeybees"

"Busy Bee Band Follies"

Follies 2012

TJ Bean, Director

Kelly Michael, Choreographer

Members of the 2011-12 "Busy Bee Band & Honeybees"

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