With the high schoolers, I noticed that morale was always highest leading up to and coming down from a performance. Not every group did live shows, but this held true to “recording sessions” as well.
It’s tough to work hard for weeks without getting affirmation from an audience and it’s hard to keep the pedal to the metal without having major benchmarks throughout the season to measure your progress.
This is why I always encourage groups to perform as much as possible. Sure it’s nice to have rehearsal days on weekends, and you should, but performing takes practice as well.
Your final performance will be better for all of the full, in-uniform runs you have done prior. And rehearsals will be more productive working towards big moments throughout the year.
Not to mention, it’s nice to get commentary as much as possible!