Just reading a comment on 4barsrest which made me think: Obviously it is fantastic to compete and especially to win or get in the prizes.....but all that work, time, effort and money in the balance for just 15 minutes on the stage? Our band enjoys contesting and the Regionals are the highlight of our year, no matter how we do. Even if we don't do well there is so much to be gained from all those weeks working on a piece. Or is there? A nearby band never contests and otherwise seems to do just as well throughout the year, socially and musically. I certainly could not imagine being in a band that didn't hold March as a focus and feel that friends in the other band are missing out. Perhaps ignorance is bliss but I do feel they are missing out on a great experience. Any thoughts?