I would like to take this opportunity to
congratulate the East Fairmont High School Busy Bee Band & Honeybees
for a job exquisitely well done in their recent participation in the 2000
Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, California. They represented their
hometown, county and state in such a fine manner.
I would also like to thank the band, Mr. McConnell and Mrs. Linn for this
experience from a purely personal point of view. My wife and I are members
of the group of parent chaperones that travel with the Band and I must say
it has been a joy and a privilege to be associated with this group of fine
youngsters and their instructors.
Having been involved with the "behind the scenes" aspect of this
trip, I can testify to the fact that this event was even more impressive
than the TV coverage. Mr. Mac's organization and preparation was a
monumental accomplishment in and of itself.
Also, the kids had more to do than just "perform". There was the
constantly changing requirements of the march to adjust to, lost buses and
delayed instrument arrivals, rain and cold weather challenges (yes, rain
in Southern California), jet lag, an average of 3-4 hours of sleep per
night, injuries and, lest we forget, the various flu and intestinal bugs
sweeping through the group.
Keep in mind as well that many of these kids had never been away from home
and their parents this long let alone being close to 2500 miles away and
having to experience their first plane ride to get there!
But let me tell you, this band, as it always has, stood a little taller,
worked a little harder and got through it and pulled it off fantastically.
You wouldn't know by their performance that the week before was a lot of
work, and that is how it should be.
They didn't even grumble all that much about rehearsing after the parade
for the Disneyland appearance the next day. It was all made worthwhile
when we had people stopping us in Disneyland, in the airports and on the
planes coming home telling us how they had enjoyed the performance.
They made quite an impression out West and made the trip enjoyable and
exhilarating even though it was exhausting. In closing, I would also like
to thank my fellow chaperones for their hard work and camaraderie -- a
finer group of people to be associated with would be hard to find.
Dr. Jim Henderson