Gentlemen, Start Your Allegros

Niki D'AndreaNovember 1, 2014
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Sports and sound collide as Phoenix International Raceway and Phoenix Symphony put on a car-themed concert.

Start your engines. Rev ‘em up. Burn rubber.

When you read those phrases, do you think of fast-paced music? If so, you’re on the same aural-auto plane as composer Larry Blank, who guest-conducts the Phoenix Symphony’s “Sound of Speed” concert showcasing car-themed music on Thursday, November 6. Emceed by Dukes of Hazzard alum Tom Wopat, the concert is presented in conjunction with the 50-year anniversary of Phoenix International Raceway.

NASCAR legend Rusty Wallace will guest-conduct the national anthem, and featured selections will include “Short Ride in a Fast Machine” by John Adams, orchestrations from James Bond films and an eponymous original opening arrangement by Blank. “What Larry’s going to be doing creatively is really demonstrating that collision between cars, racing and music, by incorporating sounds of cars and horns and all of that into the piece itself,” Phoenix Symphony President and CEO Jim Ward says.

A Brush with Victory
In addition to getting an earful of race cars, get an eyeful at “A Brush with Victory,” the world premiere of artist Bill Patterson’s paintings done on Gatorade Victory Lane. Patterson’s work has been seen – and signed – by NASCAR drivers including Carl Edwards, Kasey Kahne and Denny Hamlin. This special show will commemorate the most memorable moments at Phoenix International Raceway over the past half-century. Free, through November 11 at West Valley Arts HQ, 16126 N. Civic Center Plaza, Surprise, 623-935-6384,

If You Go: The Sound of Speed
November 6, 2014: Festivities at 5 p.m., concert at 7:30 p.m.
“Pit Road” Street Festival tickets: $10 (free with purchase of concert ticket)
Concert tickets: $50-$99 (VIP passes, $500, include pre-concert, red carpet party and bidding opportunities on exclusive auction items) Symphony Hall, 75 N. Second St., Phoenix, 602-262-6225,