Everyone at Buffalo seems to know about the Buffalo – STMA rivalry, but there’s another rivalry within Buffalo High School that’s not as mainstream. That rivalry is between the band and orchestra students. For as long as music department students can remember there have been tensions between these two groups, and these tensions continue to carry on through the generations of students.
Four students from band and orchestra were interviewed about their thoughts on the opposing group and the rivalry as a whole. When the students were asked if they were aware of the rivalry all of them responded saying that they were aware of it.
“It’s a known thing to most of the members, some of us choose to engage in it more than others,” said band member and trombone player, Luke Lichtenberg, “it’s just fun to play around with each other and make jokes.”
The students were then asked how they thought the rivalry started.
Orchestra member and cellist, Dominique Baker, said that he’s sure that, “One kid in Band said that band is better than Orchestra, and the orchestra kids had to inform him the facts that orchestra is better, and it just grew from that.”
All of the students responded in a similar manner to Baker. They believed that one person said something about their side being better, and the other person had to stand up for their side, resulting in a rivalry that would carry on for years. Two of the students also believed that each group’s naturally competitive nature contributed to the start of this feud.
“They’re like the same kind of class and style of activity, but they’re just different enough where people feel like they have to be better than the other,” said orchestra member and violinist, Hazel Wintermantel.
Following these questions, the students were asked what their thoughts were on the opposing group. Half of the students said that the opposing group was weird in their own way, but three of the four students had an understanding of the other group. They agreed that both band and orchestra students are weird and different in their own ways, though both sides can get annoying at times.
“I think that they’re just as weird as orchestra kids, kind of in a different way though. I think they’re a lot louder, probably because the instruments that they play are louder too,” said Hazel Wintermantel.
Kennedy Stromberg, flute player and band member, explained it simply as, “They’re fine, some of them are weird, but we’re all weird cause we’re all nerds.”
Though there are tensions between the band and orchestra students, nobody takes it too seriously and students from each side continue to be friends with each other. All of the students interviewed said they have friends in both band and orchestra and that it doesn’t affect their friendships with each other in the slightest. If anything, it gives them more to discuss when they’re together.
“It gives us some more to talk about, it’s kind of fun to hear what they do, how they’re different but also the same,” said Hazel Wintermantel. “At BHS it’s kind of a joke, honestly there’s more rivalry inside of the orchestra, or inside of the band, instead of Band against Orchestra.”
“We argue about this all the time, they’ll say that band is so much better, and I say that band is just random noise,” said Dominique Baker, “there’s no emotion, Orchestra is so much better guys, come on, we have emotion, feelings in our sound.”
Luke Lichtenberg went into further detail about the fun of the rivalry, saying that, “It’s not anything too serious. It’s a lot of just playing around with each other, it’s not really serious. It’s something fun that keeps us on our toes, looking for something to grab at or make a joke of. So we’re watching for if someone drops a bow or a mouthpiece, it’s something fun to point out.”
Regardless of any discord between the band and orchestra students, the two departments continue to operate in harmony with one another. Students and faculty from each side continue to encourage each other and help one another with their musical endeavors. The only rivalry between the two groups sprouts from the drive of all of the musicians to succeed and their desire to see their peers grow.