What it will do is to give us feedback on where we are in the creative performance activity. Keep in mind... there will be bands there that practice nearly twice the amount of time that we practice. Some do marching band as a class every day. Some spend the equivalent of our entire year's budget just on marching band staff and show design. It isn't always a level playing field.
That is why we don't teach scores and placements as the valuable part of the activity. The PROCESS of growing and learning is what holds the true value. If a students invests the time and effort to truly achieve at the highest levels, they will grow. If they only give 75% at rehearsals, then they will improve, but might not experience all of the benefits.
The biggest thing that we must realize is that marching band is a "We/Us" activity. The finished performance will not be the equivalent of a class in which some students make a 97 while others make a 56. We are evaluated as a cohesive unit and our results are based on the sum of the whole. With this in mind, you can see the importance of every member being in attendance, learning their routines and music, and giving their strongest effort. You can't "blend in" when you are on a giant stage in front of an audience!
Wish us good luck as we experience the competitive arena for the first time this year. Come out and support the band as we perform at Carrolton, McEachern, and Western Carolina. Hard to believe, but in two weeks, competition band is done!