Madrigals Sing for Slovak President


Diana McGrath ‘21

On Thursday, September 27, the Madrigals had the opportunity to sing for a very important guest at Benedictine University. This guest was the president of Slovakia, Andrej Kiska. How did the Madrigals get tasked with such a prestigious undertaking? In 1993, Naperville and Nitra, Slovakia, became sister cities after the citizens of Naperville made overtures to develop a relationship with the emerging democracy. In addition, Benedictine University also has roots in Czech and Slovak heritage. The monks who founded the university helped Czech and Slovak immigrants when they built St. Joseph’s Bohemian Orphanage, which is the same building now known as Benet’s Joseph hall. This year was the Slovakian government’s one-hundred-year anniversary, so the president decided to bring some of the celebration to a select few sister cities in the United States, among which Naperville was luckily included.

The event took place at Benedictine University, right across from Benet Academy. Since Benet has an abundance of talented performers and singers, among whom the ranking musicians are the Madrigals, it became clear that it would be a true treat to have the Slovak National Anthem sung by this impressive choir. The Madrigals were selected to represent Benet Academy, and they sang both the Slovak National Anthem and the American National Anthem for the visiting Slovak President. After the performance, the choir stayed and watched a short presentation about the history of Slovakia and listened to the president give a speech about how much Benedictine University has helped the Czech and Slovak immigrants, given them opportunities they never would have had without the help of the monks. “It was a very interesting experience.  I learned about how Slovakia came to be, from ashes to the great country that it is now,” says junior Nate Yep in regards to the experience. This night was an amazing opportunity for these students to learn about the cultural diversity within their community and the interesting history of a proud nation.