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Musical Prognosticator Picks Carolina To Win Super Bowl


As you may have heard, there's a pretty good football game coming up this Sunday. The Denver Broncos take on the Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl 50. While countless football experts have been analyzing the offense, the defense, things like that, our own prognosticator and classical music expert Miles Hoffman has his own criteria. He's been analyzing the musical prowess of the cities the teams come from and the teams themselves. Good morning, Miles.

MILES HOFFMAN, BYLINE: Good morning, Renee.

MONTAGNE: Now there's a little history here. Five years ago, you correctly predicted the Green Bay Packers would defeat the Pittsburgh Steelers based on the fact that the city of Green Bay and the players had more impressive music credentials.

HOFFMAN: Yes, I did. I have a perfect record.

MONTAGNE: And, may I say, we should point out that in the interest of full disclosure, you live in the Carolinas, South Carolina, not North. But can you assure us that you're coming at this in an unbiased way?

HOFFMAN: No, of course not. I'm a Panthers fan. But I will be fair, biased but fair, Renee.

MONTAGNE: All right, well, let us start then with Denver. How would you rank that city musically?

HOFFMAN: Denver is very rich musically, Renee. You see how fair I am? In fact, five minutes down the street from the Broncos stadium is the home of the Colorado Symphony Orchestra.


MONTAGNE: Well, that is beautiful. Can the Panthers beat that?

HOFFMAN: Well, they can certainly match it, Renee.


HOFFMAN: That's the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra, and they play five minutes down the street from the Panthers stadium. But the big problem for the Broncos here, let's be honest, is that they're named for a city while the Panthers, the Carolina Panthers, represent two whole states. We've got the North Carolina Symphony, the Winston-Salem Symphony, the Asheville Symphony and, in South Carolina, the Greenville Symphony and the Charleston Symphony, and that's just a name a few.

MONTAGNE: Well, two states, I mean, up against one city, so what about other kinds of musical organizations to maybe balance this out?

HOFFMAN: Well, that's the really good news overall, Renee, because both areas, Denver and the Carolinas, have an abundance of classical music riches, from orchestras to choral groups to chamber music societies. Denver's Friends of Chamber Music series, for example, is sold out by subscription every year with almost a thousand subscribers. That's for chamber music. And Opera Colorado in Denver and Opera Carolina in Charlotte are both world-class companies.


UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: (Singing in foreign language).

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #2: (Foreign language spoken).

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: (Singing in foreign language).

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #2: (Foreign language spoken).

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: (Singing in foreign language).

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #2: (Foreign language spoken).

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: (Singing in foreign language).

HOFFMAN: That was a scene from Opera Carolina's production of Gounod's "Faust" with James Valenti, the tenor, and Chester Patton, baritone.

MONTAGNE: And then there are the teams, Miles. What do the Broncos and the Panthers have going on the musical front?

HOFFMAN: Well, take a listen to this, Renee.


MONTAGNE: OK, pretty good.

HOFFMAN: All right, that's PurrCussion, P-U-R-R-C-U-S-S-I-O-N, the drum line that plays for the Panthers. But the Broncos have a drum line, too, the Stampede, and they're also great. And the Stampede are sometimes joined by the Broncos Brass.


MONTAGNE: Well, I think we've reached the moment, Miles, where you have to put your prediction on the record.

HOFFMAN: (Laughter) OK.

MONTAGNE: I'm getting a sense of Panthers here.

HOFFMAN: (Laughter) Just a little bit, yeah, well, I apologize to my friends in Denver, Renee, but I have absolutely no doubt that the Carolina Panthers will keep pounding and that they will win the Super Bowl.

MONTAGNE: All right, well, we will know just in days how it all turns out, Miles.

HOFFMAN: (Laughter).

MONTAGNE: Super Bowl 50, thanks a lot, Miles.

HOFFMAN: Thank you, Renee.

MONTAGNE: That's music commentator and amateur football expert Miles Hoffman. He is the violist of the American Chamber Players and also the author of the NPR musical companion. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.