Who We Are
Welcome to the official Web-site of the Busy Bee Band & Honeybees of East Fairmont High School. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the group, we hail from Fairmont, West Virginia, which is located approximately 90 miles South of Pittsburgh. The school has an enrollment of roughly 850 students. The band numbers 180 musicians and Honeybees, making up nearly 25% of the school enrollment.
In 2008, the Busy Bee Band & Honeybees celebrated their 39th Anniversary. Over the past three decades, the group has traveled extensively up and down the East Coast of North America. Trips to Toronto, New York, Washington, D.C., Myrtle Beach, and Orlando have made the group one of the most traveled organizations in the State of West Virginia. The group has performed 22 consecutive years for the Pittsburgh Steelers, participated in the 1989 and 2002 Presidential Inaugural Parades, and has performed for countless parades and shows in the local and regional area. In 2000, the band took its unique style and sound to the West Coast to participate in the 111th Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, California. Nearly 500 million people around the world had the opportunity to see the group take the famed turn from Orange Grove to Colorado Boulevard. In 2004, the Busy Bee Band & Honeybees became the first musical ensemble to perform at the newly opened World War II Memorial in Washington, DC. In 2006, the group traveled to New York, where it became the first high school band to perform at Rockefeller Center in nearly 30 years. In April 2007, the Busy Bee Band traveled to the 54th Annual Azalea Festival in Norfolk, Virginia where it was awarded Grand Champion of the Parade of Nations. In March of 2008, the group traveled to Nassau, Bahamas for a 3-day cruise aboard the Carnival Cruiser Fascination. The band has also been featured in two national magazines, SYTA's Student & Youth Traveler, The Instrumentalist, and MENC's Teaching Music. Synopsis of Travel
For an organization to work as well as the Busy Bee Band & Honeybees do, it takes a strong Booster Organization and dedicated Alumni. The group has been blessed with a supportive community that is willing to go the extra mile to ensure that the students of this county are given opportunities that are educational and memorable. The citizens of Marion County deserve a huge and heartfelt thank you for all their support over the years.
Of course the backbone of the organization is a strong and dedicated director, Mr. TJ Bean, and choreographer, Kelly Michael. Together, they have taken the legacy passed down from Earl W. McConnell, Sr., Earl W. McConnell, Jr., Millie McConnell, and Tracey Linn and moved it ahead with vigor and energy. With an eye always to the future, the group continues to remember its past and honor those who came before. History
As a gift from the Class of 1996, the Busy Bee Band & Honeybees took to the Internet in the winter of '96. Originally, the site was hosted on America Online and contained basic information concerning travel and history. The site was a means of publicity for the group and was founded on the concept of keeping alumni in touch with the organization's latest undertakings. In September, 1999, with the help of alumnus Chris Moran, the site made its official move to its current address of busybeeband.com. Web-masters Mike Swisher and Jason Davis redesigned the site at the time for the Rose Parade trip. Over a 5-day period while the band was in California, the site attracted over 4,000 visitors and received over 800 messages for the group. The site continues to evolve keeping in mind its primary goal: Bringing together current and past members of the organization.
A special thanks must be given to those who have contributed photos, memories and time to bring this site to you:
Class of 1996
In the Fall of 1995, the East Fairmont High School web-site took to the Internet. The Busy Bee Band & Honeybees were one of the few original groups in the school that were part of the original site design. The band "site" took up one page that contained a short list of accomplishments with no pictures or current events.
Thanks to a gift from the Class of 1996, the Busy Bee Band ONLINE! officially began. The site ventured out of the East Fairmont hosting site and made their official home on America Online. Under the direction of web-master Mike Swisher, the "new" page contained a complete listing of travel along with a current schedule and a barrage of pictures. As time passed, the site added information regarding Band Camp, Steeler Performances, and added an Alumni Center. Student Rosters became available and a Photo Gallery became one of the most visited features of the site.
The site continually redefined itself with new designs and new featues for visitors over the next couple years. In the summer of 1999, web-master Jason Davis was added to the Web team. The site began a rapid development in preparation for the upcoming trip to California. In September of 1999, with the help of alumnus Chris Moran, the site made its official move to its current address of busybeeband.com.
During the group's trip to California for the Tournament of Roses Parade, busybeeband.com featured daily updates from California with pictures and stories on everything the band had participated in. Over that five-day period, the site attracted over 4,000 visitors and received over 800 messages from well-wishers from Marion County and around the country. The site was also featured in two articles run in the Dominion Post and provided the necessary support for the Times-West Virginian to run five consecutive days of front page stories on the group. In 2004 and 2006, a photo yearbook was created for band members from the thousands of photos taken of the band for the web-site.
During the New York City trip, the Busy Bee Band Blog was updated periodically via a mobile device with band location and plans so parents back home could keep track of the travel of the group throughout the city. Additionally, the web-site was updated with performance pictures and a shot of the group at Rockefeller Center was sent to the Times-West Virginian which was published while the group was still in New York.
Now, as we have entered a new millennium, the site continues to evolve. Once a one page sheet, the site has become one of the premier High School Band Sites in the country, attracting visitors from the East to West coasts and all points in-between.
From its early inception, the site has never lost focus of its primary purpose: To bring together current and past members of the organization. As always, we look forward to hearing from you and we appreciate your input into the site. Please enjoy your visit, and be sure to return to keep up on the latest with the Busy Bee Band & Honeybees.