PHOENIX - Shane Doan shifted from center ice to center stage on Friday night to lead The Phoenix Symphony as it played "The Star Spangled Banner" in front of a packed house to begin its 2016-17 season.
Dressed in a tuxedo, Doan, the longtime captain of the Coyotes, served as guest conductor for more than 70 musicians as they performed the national anthem as a prelude to their performance of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony under Maestro Tito Munoz.
"Every athlete wants to be a musician," Doan told the crowd before starting the anthem.
Earlier on Friday, Doan was tutored in conducting and got a chance to get comfortable with the surroundings inside Phoenix Symphony Hall. He said he also checked out some YouTube videos of conductors to help prepare for the event.
"I was pretty nervous as I headed out there," Doan said. "You get out there and then you see the symphony behind you and it's intimidating. I'm usually pretty comfortable on a stage or doing different things like that, but this was so out of my comfort level. I was pretty awkward, but I got through it and it was a lot of fun."
Doan is not the first Arizona athlete to serve as guest conductor for The Phoenix Symphony. His pal Larry Fitzgerald of the Arizona Cardinals paved the way in 2012.
"I didn't get any tips from Larry," Doan said. "I heard he was very, very good though. People are still talking about him because everything Larry does is great."
Doan is having a fun September. In addition to Friday's outing with the symphony, he took batting practice at Chase Field last week before throwing out the ceremonial first pitch at an Arizona Diamondbacks game. And on Wednesday of this week, he and several other Coyotes surprised some 20-year season-ticket holders by presenting them with their tickets for the upcoming season as they toured the team's dressing room.