Matt- Although you make some strong points, I feel I must disagree on several. First, I apologize on behalf of band directors that you had what seems to be a negative band experience in school. Use that to your benefit as a model of what NOT to do. I am a band director; but first and foremost in that role, I am an educator. I think most of us on this board would echo that sentiment. There is a good amount of literature by Barnes, McBeth, Holsinger, Rudin, Melillo et al that IS playable and accessible by school ensembles. Unfortunately, many directors fail to realize this. See the series "Teaching Music Through Performance", published by GIA through MENC. It is an invaluable source for all music educators of the band-type persuasion, and should be readily available to undergrads in the school library. A school band program does not exist to serve as an entertainment venue; it serves primarily to allow students to be involved actively in the music-making process in all of its many facets. As you develop into an educator and as an educator, your philosphy will sharpen, and may well evolve.