Hersiana Matmuja has been a very busy girl since representing Albania in the 2014 Eurovision Song Contest in Copenhagen. She has graduated as a soprano singer from the Santa Cecilia music conservatory, performed at concerts all around Europe and has even traveled to Lebanon to showcase her amazing singing skills for Italian troops.

It’s a risky mission serving a solider in the Middle East. So Alfredo Santolocci, the headmaster of Santa Cecilia music conservatory, proposed a project to the Italian Ministry of Defense. He wanted to bring music to the Italian soldiers in Lebanon — not just a Christmas carol, but a whole concert with the Santa Cecilia artists, including Eurovision star Hersi.

Miss Matmuja traveled to Lebanon in December 2014 to perform for the Italian soldiers. Hersi and the instrumental band of Santa Cecilia performed classical and jazz pieces — and Neapolitan  songs to make the soldiers feel they were having Christmas at home. Naturally they ended the concert with the Italian National Anthem. Hersi tells me: “It was the best way to celebrate Christmas.”

The Ministry applauded the initiative and the performers were very enthusiastic, even though it came with a degree of risk. Special forces escorted the musicians to Lebanon on board a C130-Hercules, which is as strong as it sounds. They were taken to Shama, and performed the first concert at the Tiro theater.  They also went to Shiro after the Christmas dinner where they performed another concert.

The colonels, commanders and other officers of the Italian Military in Lebanon were very grateful for the Santa Cecilia group. They shared their enthusiasm with the Santa Cecilia headmaster and musicians, who felt a lot of pride and positivity.

Hersi describes the journey as unforgettable’, and one she will keep in her heart forever.

It was nice to see so many happy faces from everyone, something that only music can cause. And it happened in a military base, in the middle of Lebanon.

Hersi in Lebanon (via Hersi)

Photos courtesy of Hersiana Matmuja

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Emily
Emily
5 years ago

A very wonderful person! Shame that she didn’t qualify for the final.

Melissa J
5 years ago

How wonderful! And congrats on her graduation!

Vicente
Vicente
5 years ago

Oh I love Hersi so much!!!
Really enjoy her One Night’s Anger but unfortunately it failed……
but now I’m glad that she’s doing quite well in her music journey! 😀

Best wishes from Taiwan!

davved
davved
5 years ago

I did not like her 2014 entry.. but she seems sweet