There is TBA which doesn't require subs and gives you some info to implement at the beginning of the year rather than in the middle of UIL prep. there is Midwest. There are a ton of professional development sessions done by colleges all around the state virtually or in person, (yes, some of those are in the summer but sometimes we have to remember our job is to stand in front of kids and we can only do that when they are in school. Oh, and we get excited for Leadership camps in the summer that we require our kids to attend or excited for the students who go to a week long band camp during their summer break but complain when we might need to spend a day at a camp?). TMEA can also be done virtually, (with the recorded sessions), so if it really matters you can get the same info from home afterwards. Would I want to do that all the time? Nope. But every few years if that's what is needed then yes.
Yes, TMEA is important. No, TMEA is not worth losing a job over because your professional needs will be much more compromised when you don't have an ensemble to stand in front of.