Graduation is one of those times of year when the band/orchestra/choir is asked to perform "because they always do it" yet the quality is never quite what the admin wants.
You're taking (in most cases) the strongest performers out of the ensemble and having to "make do" with what's left, and then put together a performance of a piece that can last anywhere from five to twenty minutes while kids file into a huge gaping auditorium/arena/whatever.
If you could get your admin to approach it from the point of view of "these are kids, not a Spotify playlist" then maybe they'll start understanding that performing for up to twenty minutes straight is not something most high school students can manage.
Getting admin on board with using recorded performances - even if they're recordings of YOUR ensemble - is absolutely the way to go for this, for the quality of the event. And that way, your band kids can go and cheer for their friends instead of have to spend the next hour and a half sitting in a setup with nowhere to go, but under constant public scrutiny for even the smallest movement.
I've been to five college graduations in the past ten years, some of them even for major universities in this state, and about half are now using "canned" music. The other half were using a small ensemble that leaves immediately after playing P&C. So again - is this about your program, or is this about your kids? Or is this about ego?