This may appear to some a daft question, but having thought about it a lot I wondered what the benefit was of having a professional conductor. Is it because the resident is not 'good enough' to take a band to a major contest? Is it because the Professional would be preferable full time but not available or not affordable? Do players find it difficult rehearsing regularly under one conductor and then having another one step in a few weeks before a contest? Or are the players more receptive, do they concentrate more when a Professional conductor steps in? What are the advantages to a band engaging a professional conductor short term? And are there any disadvantages? This is a serious question, I am genuinely interested in the answers and not 'having a go' as some may percieve.