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Maestro Keith Lockhart Celebrating 20th Anniversary WIth Boston Pops

BOSTON (CBS) -- It's almost showtime for the July 4 Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular right here on WBZ-TV, and the leader of the band says he doesn't get nervous.

When he takes the stage on Saturday, Maestro Keith Lockhart will celebrate America's birthday and his own anniversary, and he's ready for both.

"When we come out there, they are so ready to party. The people sitting out there live are themselves the population of a mid-sized American city," he says.

And the conductor and the Pops love every minute.

"It's a cross between a concert crowd, and a backyard barbecue crowd. All sitting together in relative peace, love and harmony for that period of time with the concert as its' central focal point," he says. "What performer wouldn't want to be part of that?"

The favorites will be there, The 1812 Overture complete with cannons, The Stars and Stripes Forever and a patriotic sing-along. And there's a great guest list this year.

One of the hottest singers on Broadway, Michael Cavanaugh, who made a name for himself performing the songs of Billy Joel; Melinda Doolittle of American Idol fame; and the Sons of Serendip, four young men who met at Boston University, will all take the stage with the Pops as the greatest backup band in history, with Lockhart celebrating his 20th anniversary with the Pops.

"What I've tried to do is broaden the lens a little bit, widen the focus. And by doing all those things, to continue to make the point that (former Pops conductor Arthur) Fiedler was making way back then. He said, we only play one kind of music at the Boston Pops, the interesting kind," he says.

Lockhart will even take requests at this year's July 4th celebration. The audience at home and at the Esplanade will be able to vote for some of the songs the Pops performs.

You can watch all the fun on Saturday starting at 8pm, right here on WBZ-TV.

For more information about the July 4 Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular, visit our event site.

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