Was wondering how other Marching Band directors handle chair challenges between 2 players. As I've always been taught that the challenger chooses a familiar song piece, they're given a week of self practice (no help), and then the director tests them on the same day at the end of the week. At times(but Rarely) testing in front of the entire band, but most other times in office, usually with his back turned while recording to have an unbiased based opinion.Is this the way its handled in most if not all Marching Bands?
In my opinion, allowing either person to select the piece opens the door to blatant cheating (pre-preparation). Far better to have the director select a piece at random. (As a possible alternative, specify a permanent set of, say, four pieces for each instrument that will always be used for challenges, so that every member can be properly prepared. )
I do wonder why you are being specific about marching bands, as chair challenges can take place in any large ensemble, and the protocols for a fair audition process should be the same.