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Re: Is it funding, support or instruction?
I was once told you don't compete against other schools and their students, you compete against their directors. There are some band directors that it doesn't matter where they are, they're going to have a top notch program. (Chris Brannan comes to mind now at Minneola, but previously at Queen City) I definitely find myself looking at the directors more than the school most of the time the longer I'm around. A great staff at a program that works together can do some amazing things even if they have very little. Having the right person at the top with a vision and being willing to push hard and work for it makes the difference in my opinion.
If you really want to be one of those directors do your best to find the right mentors and begin as an assistant in a program where you can grow. Above all else though know that successful programs are rarely built quickly. It takes a lot of time and energy to get a solid program from the bottom to the top!