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Re: alternates that can actually play and march
For several years we've had a "Secondary." They march at all rehearsals, and have a marching assignment. They have the same responsibilities as everyone else in the main portion of the drill, but their drill is a little easier. They sit on top of the main marching block and so long as they can stay in step, hold their horns correctly, have their music passed off, and do not miss turns they march on Fridays but not at UIL.
BTW we're military so if we can do it a corps style band can (assuming you're corps).
Many bands have a "B" block that marches a simplified drill but still plays.
I know this doesn't help you a week or two out, but keep it in mind for next year.