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Re: Best for the program
That director you talked with sounds like someone who has NEVER been in a situation like yours (or mine for that matter...except I'm being forced to go to UIL by admin.). I would bet that he would have no clue what to do in your shoes.
You are making the right call for your program...don't doubt that for one second. Going to UIL to get below a 3 doesn't teach your kids anything except that they can take a beating.
My tiny marching band did a festival last week. We're not going to UIL since we're rebuilding. Out of 20 kids, 6 are beginners, 2 are second year players. We only put one piece of our show on the field. Talking to another director about not doing UIL, he said I'm cheating my students. I talked to a couple of the judges. They would have given us a 3-4 with a week before UIL. I told the other director that I disagreed with him. I said going to UIL and being picked apart would have done more harm than good. It was an achievement just for us to put something on the field and be judged. A lot of bands take a year or two off from UIL Marching. Our plan is to build up numbers and try UIL next year. If not, we'll go back to the same festival and do better.