Brooklyn songwriters named as finalists in Anthem to US project

July 9, 2024 Brooklyn Eagle Staff
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GRAND ARMY PLAZA AND LINCOLN CENTER — TWO BROOKLYNITES WERE FINALISTS IN AN ANTHEM-WRITING contest that the Brooklyn Public Library co-sponsored.  Jaquetta Bustion and D L Newton were finalists for their songs “We Are US” and “Big Country,” respectively, as part of Anthem to US, a months-long project in which members of the public were invited to create a contemporary anthem to add to the nation’s songbook, sponsored by the BPL, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, New York Public Library for the Performing Arts and Queens Public Library.

Finalist D L Newton is pursuing her first degree at age 66. Photo courtesy of Jenni Klauder/Lincoln Center
Finalist D L Newton is pursuing her first degree at age 66. Photo courtesy of Jenni Klauder/Lincoln Center

The contest also allowed participants to collaborate with leading writing instructors, composers and musicians. Earlier this year, nearly 200 people submitted applications to Anthem to US, and approximately 100 people were selected to participate in intensive guided writing workshops. Outstanding song lyrics emerged from the workshops, and a few applicants advanced. The judges were Roseanne Cash, Laurie Anderson, Sandra Cisernos and Anthony Banfield.

Jaquetta Bustion, a finalist in Anthems to US, created the music program at Community Roots Charter School in Fort Greene. Photo courtesy of Jenni Klauder/Lincoln Center
Jaquetta Bustion, a finalist in Anthems to US, created the music program at Community Roots Charter School in Fort Greene. Photo courtesy of Jenni Klauder/Lincoln Center

The top three songs were performed live at Lincoln Center on Independence Day Weekend as part of the Summer for the City festival.

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