My favorite is like your suggestion, the choir setup: wood side and metal side. Balance is achieved through the mixer.
Where is your section leader and how does your setup affect their ability to watch a drum major?
Up Front and Field Level are two excellent modern texts on matters like this and more. I prefer Up Front for your situation, but both deserve a spot on your shelf, especially if you were not a member of either pit/drumline in your performance days and doubly so if you do not have a percussionist within the staff.