Madrigals performing at numerous locations this year


Kaitlyn Huamani

Madrigals in class preparing for their From The Top performance.

Last Saturday, Madrigals performed on National Public Radio’s (NPR) “From The Top.”

On November 2nd, Madrigals travelled to Morristown Presbyterian Church to record a set of songs for the popular broadcast, “From The Top.” “From The Top,” an independent non-profit organization, decided to record their November 2nd show in partnership with Music in the Somerset Hills, and the Madrigals were invited by “From The Top” to perform.

Junior Marcelo Benalcazar-Robles said, “This is an amazing once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. How awesome is it that we get a chance to perform on NPR?”

Mr. LaPine, the choral director, was ecstatic about the opportunity, saying “I think the opportunity to perform and be professionally recorded and mastered is a really big deal. On top of that, the fact it’s going to be broadcast to a national audience is fantastic.”

“From The Top” features young musicians from across the country to perform to its nearly half-a-million viewers. Invited performers can be as close as “The Strings Trio” from Demarest, New Jersey or “The Organist” from Akron, Ohio.

Not only did the Madrigals perform their songs, but they also had a chance to meet with multiple soloists who had travelled long distances to perform on the national podcast.

“It was super exciting!” said senior Kaitlyn Huamani. “Music brings people across the world together, so to be able to share our talents with people outside of our community and witness the talents of others is beyond exciting for us.”

Madrigals was not picked to be on the prestigious program for no reason: “From The Top” likely made the decision in light of the professionalism of the choir and the high-profile venues the choir performs at, including last year’s two-hour performance at The White House and this year’s performance at Carnegie Hall.

“From The Top” wanted a more intimate look into Bernards’ auditioned choir, so they requested two individuals from the choir to be delegates for the choir and be individually interviewed.

“It was extremely excited to have the opportunity to be a delegate,” said junior Paul Kotz, one of the delegates. “It gives me so much pride that I was entrusted to represent our choir.”

The delegates got to meet privately with “From The Top’s” crew the Friday before Madrigals performed and learned how the show is made, as well as ask questions and enjoy a dinner with the other performers.

Paul had already done a pre-interview with Tim Banker, Director of Content and Production for “From the Top”, before that Friday.

“It was so professional! It sounded like the interviewer really wanted to know more about us, which is something really special,” said Kotz.

Madrigals sang two pieces on “From The Top.” The first was a familiar piece for the choir: Fōg Elnā Khel, a traditional Iraqi folk song which featured soloist Kaitlyn Huamani. The second, All My Heart This Night Rejoices, was brand new to the group. Each brought its own challenges.

“It’s so difficult to breathe properly for All My Heart,” said Junior Hanna Celentano. “I haven’t had issues like that before with a song. It’s extremely difficult.”

Still, the Madrigals felt prepared and confident for their broadcast performance.

“It gave our students a chance to really showcase what they can do,” LaPine said.

Madrigals is showcasing their skill with extreme talent and plans on winning some hardware in the near future.