At the end of the marching season, all students enrolled in Marching and Concert Band audition for placement in one of the three concert groups that meet during second semester. The most advanced students are placed in Wind Ensemble 5th hour and Symphonic Winds 6th hour. These two ensembles play a wide variety of advanced and standard wind literature. Private lessons are an expectation, and outside of school rehearsals are often scheduled in preparation for big events.
The ensemble performs at the band concerts as well as Mid-Illini and other selective events. These groups have been selected to perform at events like the prestigious Illinois SuperState Festival at the University of Illinois, the llinois Music Education All-State Convention, and the National Concert Band Festival. Symphonic Winds is directed by Craig Hatter and assisted by Tim Gray.