Meet Matt Phillips, Super Violist.

I’ve known Matt Phillips, a violist in the Buffalo Philharmonic, for about ten years now. For the first five years I knew him, he was basically just an ordinary violist like the rest of us. Matt was certainly never visibly out of shape, it’s just that he was no more or less athletic than your average classical musician.

At some point along the way, things changed. At some point, Matt started jogging. I say “at some point” because from my perspective, one day Matt was just a regular, non-runner like most people, and the next day he was… running marathons. It seriously seemed like it happened overnight. Even now, if you ask Matt, “So, let me get this straight. One day, out of the blue, you just started running extremely long distances?” he’s just like, “Yeah, pretty much.”

Matt is obviously really good at running. He’s also really good at the viola. He seems to be some new breed. A “Super Violist”, if you will.

First he will try to defeat you by playing the viola, and if somehow that doesn't work, he will beat you in a foot race. Enemies, beware.

Now whenever Matt takes a day off from work we all assume that he’s running a race somewhere. When he returns to work he’s always extremely nonchalant about whatever ridiculous feat of strength he’s accomplished.  I don’t know much about racing, but Matt always seems to place very high, and sometimes he even wins the race. (My favorite story of Matt winning a race is when he won the Erie Philharmonic’s 5k. Orchestras are very supportive of one another, because as an industry there is absolutely no benefit to being competitive. That said, it’s still amusing when someone in one orchestra wins the 5K of another orchestra.)

Why am I writing about this on my hockey blog? I’m glad you asked!

Yesterday, Matt ran in the “Hamburg Character Chase”. If I’m reading the race results correctly, he placed 5th overall, and 1st in his age group. That’s some pretty good running, Matt!

Here are the results. I’ve blocked out most of the other names because I don’t know if it’s kosher to re-post race results, but please scroll down for an amusing surprise.

It’s official. The Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra has defeated the Buffalo Sabres on the field of athletics. When the Sabres feel they are ready to challenge us to a Battle of the Orchestras, we will be ready to defend our turf.  For now… advantage, BPO.

Your move, Sabres.



9 Responses to “Meet Matt Phillips, Super Violist.”

  1. 1 Pookie July 17, 2011 at 6:03 pm


  2. 2 Schnookie July 17, 2011 at 6:52 pm

    Dude, this is amazing! I honestly doubt there is ANY endeavor that the BPO can’t beat the Sabres at. (Except maaaayyyyyybe hockey…)

  3. 3 Katebits July 17, 2011 at 7:11 pm

    (Except maaaayyyyyybe hockey…)

    What?! No way. I mean, I bet Matt hasn’t even tried hockey. He’s probably really good at it.

  4. 4 Kathleen July 18, 2011 at 12:07 am

    Haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahahah!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! G-squared, you’ve got some explaining to do. (Though it is pretty awesome & adorkable that they not only registered together, but paced each other.)

    And congrats to Matt for placing so high! You’re right, he must be one of a superbreed of Violthelete. He should definitely try hockey.

  5. 5 kms2 July 20, 2011 at 12:26 am


    Hahha, that is really funny. So Katebits, did you know they were also running or were you just scrolling through the names and noticed them?

    In Gerbe’s defense, he is itty bitty, so I’m pretty it takes him twice as much effort as a regular sized person (*I know from experience*).

  6. 6 Mags July 20, 2011 at 5:20 am

    To borrow a line from my sister, “OH SNAP!”

    Also, GO, MATT, GO!

  7. 7 elise July 21, 2011 at 8:42 pm

    Musicians are wonderful at everything!! And yes, Matt should play for the Sabres!

  8. 8 karen July 24, 2011 at 10:54 am

    Dude, buy some gloves! An invitation for dueling violas on ice is surely headed your way…

  9. 9 Matthew McBride-Daline October 11, 2011 at 11:58 am

    Hi, I am a college friend of Matt and I’ve been trying to contact him. Do you happen to have his e- mail? Matt and I went to NEC in the 90’s and I have a viola student that I would like to send him. Please let me know if you can forward his e- mail. He will remember me as Matthew McBride- Daline from NEC. Thanks!
    – Matthew

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