Be the first to hear these new, modern U.S. anthems at Lincoln Center

Three songs were chosen out of more than 100 submissions.

Ian Kumamoto
Written by
Ian Kumamoto
Staff Writer
lincoln center at night
Photograph: By Plot Y Design / Courtesy of Shutterstock

The U.S. national anthem was written in 1814, long before the Civil Rights movement, the World Wars and the Internet were a thing. For those reasons, and many others, some might say that the Star Spangled Banner feels outdated and not reflective of contemporary America.

That's why the Brooklyn Public Library and Lincoln Center asked dozens of musicians to come up with an American anthem that reflects the collective hopes, struggles and histories of today's America—and you'll be able to hear the songs that were selected as the finalists at Lincoln Center on July 4 weekend.

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More than 100 participants went through a months-long lyric writing workshop and submitted their drafts. Out of those, just three finalists were chosen and matched with world-class composers who brought their creations to life. 

The three anthems will be performed live at the Lincoln Center's Damrosch Park on July 6 starting at 8pm, an event that will be free and open to the public to attend. The winning anthem will be decided by an impressive panel of judges that includes Laurie Anderson, Sandra Cisneros, Rosanne Cash and Anthony Barfield.

In addition to the new national anthems, the concert will also feature songs that have served as bastions of hope,  protest and resilience, including "Lift Every Voice and Sing"—sometimes referred to as the "Black National Anthem"—and Sam Cooke's "A Change Is Gonna Come."

Admission to the concert is first-come-first serve, so make sure to show up early to secure your spot. For more information on the concert, visit Lincoln Center's website

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