Solana Beach Fourth of July Singalong


By Kristina Houck

Solana Beach residents celebrated the Fourth of July early with an annual sing-song tradition. More than 60 people attended the 28th annual Patriotic Songs Singalong July 1 at the Fletcher Cove Community Center.

“As long as I’m alive, it’s the longest ongoing event in Solana Beach,” said Dr. Ed Siegel, a local psychiatrist and musician.

Siegel established the weekly Solana Beach Community Singalong not long after the city became incorporated in 1986.

“It seems like yesterday,” he said.

The first singalong drew about 40 people, Siegel recalled. Since then, crowds have ranged from seven to 70 people of all ages, with the most popular singalongs around the Fourth of July and the holiday season. Singalongs that celebrate the group’s new season each year are also always well attended.

The Solana Beach Community Singalong will kick off its 29th season with a Thursday night get-together Aug. 6 at the Fletcher Cove Community Center.

“Everyone is welcome,” Siegel said.

After previewing the Fourth of July in Solana Beach, Siegel returned to his childhood home of Fort Collins, Colorado, to celebrate the occasion by accomplishing a childhood dream.

On the Fourth of July, after just two rehearsals, he conducted the Fort Collins Symphony Orchestra in front of a roughly 9,000-person audience.

“It’s been a childhood dream,” said Siegel prior to his trip. “I am so happy about it. It is a dream come true.”

Siegel conducted “Prelude” from the opera “Carmen” by Georges Bizet. He said the moment would have never happened if it weren’t for his parents.

“It’s because of my folks,” Siegel said. “As a child, they used to take me to concerts and symphonies. If it hadn’t been for them, I might not be playing the piano.”