Shaquille O'Neal Conducts The Boston Pops
Boston Celtics Center Shaquille O'Neal took advantage of playing in Boston to trade in Celtic green for a bow tie and tails to conduct the Boston Pops Orchestra at Symphony Hall. The Holiday Pops season, under the direction of conductor Keith Lockhart, is celebrating its 125th anniversary this year.
By all accounts Shaq had a great time in the conductor role. In a press conference before the concert he said that he was honored to be chosen to conduct a three-song set and he expressed appreciation for the conductor's art saying that the rehearsal gave his arms a work out.
Keith Lockhart stepped aside and let the the Celtics Center take the baton for the Christmas classic "Sleigh Ride," the Jackson 5 hit "Can You Feel It" and Queen's "We Are the Champions." As you might guess, O'Neal is the tallest guest conductor in Pops history but he is also the first pro-basketball player. Other famous guest conductors have included Julia Child, Rachael Ray, Angie Dickinson, Henry Winkler, Ray Romano, William Shatner and Senator Edward M. Kennedy.