The Chicago Bulls have gotten into the holiday spirit in a big way.

The team held a “holiday scrimmage” featuring the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra, in which the orchestra lined up around the Bulls’ practice court and played Christmas songs while the players staged a game.

The video the team put together (which you can see below) shows the orchestra performing “Sleigh Ride” to the delight of several players, particularly Mike Dunleavy and Doug McDermott, who tried their hand at conducting.

The video is currently the landing page for the Bulls’ official web site. The site also teases to a behind-the-scenes video, which is actually longer (and maybe more entertaining) than the original.

It sounds like putting this together was more complicated than it might seem. The 14-18-year-old musicians weren’t used to playing without a conductor or with so many distractions, and the cameramen wandering around added some confusion as well.

Pau Gasol, for one, approved of the final product. From the behind-the-scenes video:

“It was a cool experience. It was nice to have all those talented teenagers playing beautiful music. In a way I wanted to sit down and just listen and enjoy the music.”

If for no other reason, watch the behind-the-scenes video to see Jimmy Butler struggle to name four orchestra instruments as he promises to come back next year playing the “the french horn, the… violin, the cello, I think it’s called, was out there and the big flute — I don’t know the name of that one, but I like the big flute.”

The holiday scrimmage seems like a lot of work for a marketing gimmick, but we can’t deny it came out pretty cool although I must say I was really afraid an errant ball was going to cause some mayhem here.

About Alex Putterman

Alex is a writer and editor for The Comeback and Awful Announcing. He has written for The Atlantic, VICE Sports,, and more. He is a proud alum of Northwestern University and The Daily Northwestern. You can find him on Twitter @AlexPutterman.