Small town seeks its own anthem

The rural municipality of Ilūkste in south-eastern Latvia has launched a competition to come up with its own anthem, the council told the LETA news service Thursday.

While Chicago is "a wonderful town" and New York is "so good they named it twice", Ilūkste (population 3,000) has remained off the popular song playlist. - until now.

The aim is to promote local feeling and to stimulate young composers to come up with something special, the municipality said.

The anthem should be "readable, tuneful and substantively linked to the essence of Ilūkste."

Demo versions of the proposed tune should be submitted on CD along with written music and lyrics by 1 October to be in with a chance of the €1,000 first prize. The competition is open to all Latvian residents.

Entries will be judged by an evaluation committee, then the best three will be handed over to the population of Ilūkste district for a public vote.

In addition to the substantial cash prize, winner will be awarded with a certificate of Ilūkste's gratitude, as will the two runners-up.

The anthem's premiere and awards ceremony will be held next summer during the annual Ilūkste festival.

Though not large, the town has a strong choral tradition, so the winning anthem should get a strong rendition.

Composers looking for inspiration could contact the town's tourist information center to get in touch with the "essence of Ilūkste".

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