I will say this. Just looking at what some of those Valley schools have in regards to facilities, and being able to field winter guard, winter drum line, they are not missing much.
Friends of mine from the Valley post pictures of their winter guards and drum lines and to be honest, it does not look any different than a North Texas winter guard and drum line.
They get the money from somewhere. Pretty sure it is a very healthy budget in order to do all of that.
Just my 2 cents worth.
I always see The State Marching Contest like a celebration of great marching band programs. To compare a program at the top and a program at the bottom and call them short of trash is unacceptable.
There is an OBVIOUS disparity between areas, regions, and programs. But this contest should be a celebration to the best of every area, what ever that is. Band directors shouldn’t fight much less name call other areas, regions, or programs.
Are students, students? Yes.
Do students work hard? Yes.
Does having private lessons help? Yes.
Does having an actual marching band budget help? Yes.
Can you still suck with a huge budget? Yes.
Is there programs that get to state with no props, no heavy visual package, and staff of 4? Yes.
Does it help to be close to universities? Yes.
Does it help to be able to have a band fee? Yes.
Do social economics of a school affect marching band? Yes.
Do levels of parents education affect a marching band program? Yes.
Does having a proper nutrition at home help a student be better? Yes.
Does having a decent pair of tennis shoes and clothes help a student be better? Yes.
Is it nice to have band boosters? Yes.
Would it be nice to have active parents helping? Yes.
Is it nice to have an actual fine arts director that supports the program? Yes.
Is it nice to have principals that support the program. Yes.
If you’re thinking the above is common sense. Yes it is, unfortunately not everyone has the support. Many programs do it with very few resources. HOWEVER, they still manage to put out a show. That is success. Not a 1 or area finalist or state. It’s in between all the obstacles still pushing and finishing something you started.
The playing field is not leveled. Neither is life.
If we continue to compare ourselves and each other and get upset as offended by the outcome you’re going to only live a bitter life. You are no one to say this area sucks and this area is good. Until you’ve worked in the program, region, and area and you’ve seen the struggles then you will understand. Both ways, head directors in top tier programs many times have to be better managers than they are directors. Dealing with diva drill writers, music arrangers, and choreographers all at the same time i assume is not an easy task.
All I’m saying is, Do band. Don’t worry about being “competitive” worry about being successful, what ever that is to you and your students. Teach kids responsibility, great work ethic, and perseverance. Keep pushing, keep fighting, but above all be happy.