Maine West High School offers three curricular band ensembles - Percussion Techniques, Symphonic Band and Wind Ensemble.
All incoming freshman or students new to an instrument are placed together in Symphonic Band or Percussion Techniques, which meets for one period.  After one year of performance in those ensembles, students are placed by audition into one of the other two ensembles. 
Symphonic Band focuses on intermediate high school band literature, as well as music theory and performance techniques, whereas Wind Ensemble focuses on advanced high school and early college band literature, as well as advanced theory and pedagogy. 
All band ensembles work to continue the lifelong process of music, whether it be as a performer after high school, a student of music at the college level, or simply an educated consumer and appreciator in our society and culture.