by Andrew Pacholyk MS L.Ac ~

I have had the pleasure over the years to see or participate in some of the most spectacular Fourth of July fireworks shows in the world. Grandiose and utterly spectacular are the New York City fireworks put on by Macy’s each year. This show is unparalleled to all others and if you are a fan of fireworks, then I urge you to see it live one day! I have worked as a dancer in this event, as well as seen it from my rooftop for many years! The fireworks in Washington DC hold a very special memory as it was probably my most patriot experience. In Miami Beach, I have watched the fireworks display for many years from my balcony and it has been nice. This Fourth of July I was in Miami and decided to go down to the beach to be a participant with the crowds. There was a wonderful pre-show put on by the City of Miami Beach and my new favorite classical station here, Classical South Florida 89.7 FM

Only the 2nd Annual Fire On The Fourth: Concert and Fireworks at Ocean Drive and 8 Street, the festivities featured Big Poppa E and the E Band followed by the South Florida Jazz Orchestra, under the direction of Chuck Bergeron, featuring the amazing jazz vocal styling’s of Nicole Henry. She entertained the crowd with her cool, easy going attitude, her amazing feel for jazz music and her impressive vocal range!

At 9pm the fireworks started as the radio station 89.7 FM, provided the musical soundtrack to the display. I was probably standing less than 100 yards from the fireworks as they cascaded up and over the dunes to explode above me. I truly felt as if I were standing in a kaleidoscope! As the first song swelled up behind me (John Williams Olympic theme) I could feel the tears well up in my eyes from such auditory and visual pleasure!

I am always enamored by the way music can change a situation by adding its color, power and reverence. Music creates an additional layer of emotion and spirit to an otherwise, different experience! As the musical tempo and crescendo built with the fireworks, I could feel the enthusiasm from the crowd. I also found it incredible that as certain songs would transition into the next, people would react, as the song was familiar to them. They may not have known it was the 1812 Overture or that a song was by John Philip Sousa, yet it was a familiar and recognizable tune that everyone, collectively seemed to relate to!

SO as the warm, gentle ocean breeze blew over me, the fireworks seemed to create a multi-colored umbrella over the crowd. Just the proximity to the fireworks and the empowering music coming from over my shoulder made for one of the most personal fireworks displays of my life! It was truly magical!

I have gathered together some of the most beloved music for the Fourth of July. I hope you add them to the playlist of your life! I call this playlist, Patriotic Songs For The 4th of July!