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


'Really great' experience
The Times West Virginian Photo
Travis Hamrick practices some of the music the Busy Bee Band will be performing in Jacksonville, Fla., during a rehearsal Saturday. - PHOTO BY TAMMY SHRIVER
By Jill Nettles
Courtesy:  Times-West Virginian

EFHS Busy Bee Band and Honeybees eager to join Mountaineers at Florida's Gator Bowl

The East Fairmont High School Busy Bee Band and Honeybees practiced one last time Saturday morning before heading Monday to Jacksonville, Fla., for the Gator Bowl.
"I think it's a great honor and a great experience for everybody to be there at the same time as the Mountaineers," Earl McConnell, EFHS band director, said.
West Virginia University will play the Maryland Terrapins at 12:30 p.m. Thursday.
The band found out in September that it was chosen to participate in the Gator Bowl festivities after being spotted by a scout at a band spectacular in Ohio. And soon after, the Mountaineers were selected to play in the Gator Bowl.
"What makes it really great is that the Mountaineers are in the Gator Bowl," McConnell said.
The Busy Bee Band and Honeybees are used to participating in historical events. In 2001 they played at the inauguration of President George W. Bush and in the Rose Bowl Parade.
Due to this winter's weather, a lot of the Busy Bee Band and Honeybee practices had to be done at home.
"We had to learn two new dances, and we have been practicing at home because of the snow," Honeybee and EFHS senior Morgan Kincell said. "I'm excited and can't wait to go down to Florida."
Kincell mentioned that she and the other members were going to try and get the other bands to support the Mountaineers during the game. During Kincell's sophomore year, the band traveled to Orlando.
Mike Swisher, a 1996 EFHS graduate, will be traveling with the group to Florida and will be e-mailing pictures back to West Virginia. He also will be posting daily updates and pictures on www.busybeeband.com.
"In 2001 when we went to the Rose Bowl, the Web site had 5,000 visitors," he said.
Chartered buses carrying the 190-member band and the Honeybees will leave around 7:30 a.m. Monday for Jacksonville.
At approximately 11 p.m. Monday evening, the group will arrive in Jacksonville. Tuesday morning there will be a rehearsal for a field show contest at a local high school. The band will perform at 8 p.m. that evening in the field show contest performing tunes, including "All That Jazz," "Celebration" and "It's A Most Usual Day."
At 3 p.m. Wednesday the band will participate in the Gator Bowl Parade, playing such songs as "This Is My Country." Later in the evening, the band will ring in the new year at the Jacksonville Convention Center.
Thursday is the reason for the whole trip, as the band prepares for the Gator Bowl. At halftime, the band will join others to perform in front of 80,000-plus people at the stadium and for the audience watching on NBC.
On Friday, the band will return home.
Story created Sunday, December 28, 2003.




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