Band FAQ's

"How do I pay for anything for band?"
The Band Department has many events and fees that entail payment by students and parents. The Maine West Bookstore, located on the first floor of E-Wing, allows monies to be collected and placed in the appropriate accounts. The Band office does not accept money directly (except for the August fee payment).

Proper record keeping in the bookstore on the "green sheets" and the return of the receipt and correct forms needed will allow for good organization.

"Is Marching Band required at Maine West High School?"

Yes, right now we require that all band members enrolled in a class participate in the co-curricular Marching Warriors ensemble. Marching Band meets twice a week outside of school, and plays at home football games (4-5 per year) and one competition.  The Marching Band also meets for two weeks before school starts to learn all the basics of marching to make all members comfortable with the music and movement routines for the 8-week season. Once the band department grows to a much larger size, the Marching Band will move to a volunteer organization, but for now, all members are needed to provide a good showing at performances.

"I don't like getting up early in the morning - do I still have to?"

As incoming freshman, you will not have to be here any earlier than 7:45am. The bands at Maine West High School meets every day DURING the school day for one period (top band meets for 1 period plus a morning flap). In addition, there are no "pullout" lessons - only full band rehearsals. Private lessons are encouraged to work one on one with a professional musicians. (See the "Staff/Private Teachers" page for private teacher information)

"How will I have room for an instrument in my locker?"

Each student has two options to store their instrument at Maine West during the school day. Smaller instruments like flutes,oboes, clarinets and alto saxophones can be stored in your main locker, or in a "band locker" (half-size locker in the Music Wing). Larger woodwind instruments and brass instruments can be stored in the band instrument room in large cabinets and lockers. Of course, the BEST place to always store an instrument on the weekends is HOME for lots of practicing.

"Should I have a different instrument for Marching Band?"

If you are fortunate enough to have purchased a "step-up" instrument after playing your beginner student instrument in middle school, we suggest you use the "better" instrument for inside playing and the student model for outside playing. We provide drumline equipment and mallet instruments for percussionists (you will need to buy sticks and mallets) . We suggest that you purchase or rent-to-own an intermediate/advanced model of your instrument for better performance in high school and beyond.

"I play oboe or bassoon - what do I play in marching band?"

We suggest that if you are looking to perform into high school and beyond, it would be beneficial to pick up a second instrument for non-symphonic playing, such as jazz bands and athletic bands. In these non-symphonic bands, there is no call for a double reed section due to weather restrictions and/or the style of music. At Maine West, we have a number of double reed players that also "double" on clarinet or saxophone. This is a very easy switch through the use of a fingering chart and beginning methods book. Students may also rent a school-owned instrument at a lower cost (depending on inventory availability). This can be started in 8th grade year before high school.