So your band didn't win the competition
So you went on Saturday, and kids did great even with the weather being great/bad, hot/cold/in between. You went after a great/not-so-great band. The kids were tired/ecstatic afterwards. What now? Take the comments you were given and read all the positive ones more than one time time to your band...heck read em
three times. Read all that were specific to performance to your kids once...you know, the things you've been saying
to the kids already. Find a way to connect and strive to improve 2% each day.
Any comments that were about design/teaching that the kids are not responsible for, read for you and your staff - the kids don't need to worry about things they can't control.
Talk with the kids, not to. Engage with them and find out what they think they did well, and what needs to improve. Realize they have stake in this show as much as you do.
Limit the negativity - respond with positivity. Acknowledge disappointment while pushing learning and improvement. Its a long month. Realize you have hyper-competitive kids (and parents - I'm one of them), and you have kids who don't give a s*** (their words). Find a way to engage both extremes and in-between in a positive manner.
Most of all realize this - marching band is about the learning and improvement across 4 months. Put on the best product you can possibly give and let the accolades fall where they may. Kids and music are always the most important things, and in that order.
Best wishes on the next performance!