Third generation of von Trapp family singers visit Canada one last time

WhatsOn Apr 13, 2016 by Valerie Hill Waterloo Region Record

KITCHENER — After conducting the much storied von Trapp family singers in a San Francisco concert a few years ago, the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony's music director Edwin Outwater decided he had to bring the quartet to Kitchener.

The four-member sibling group makes its symphony debut this weekend, the second last concert before they disband in a final concert May 3, in Portland, Ore.

"It's very bittersweet but it's been 15 years and we are excited about the next step in our lives, the next adventure," said Sofia von Trapp, one of the group's members, which also includes Melanie, Amanda and August von Trapp. All four are in their 20s and have no plans to continue with music, despite the strong family tradition.

The siblings are the great-grandchildren of Captain and Maria von Trapp, the couple whose story was made famous in the classic 1965 movie "The Sound of Music."

Based on a book written by Maria von Trapp, the film took a few liberties. For example, the family did not escape over the Alps. Rather, they travelled by train to Italy, and the Captain was actually very kind and loving whereas Maria had a wicked temper. She was hired as a caregiver for one sickly daughter but came to love all the children.

The original Trapp Family Singers were indeed a musical group and had won great acclaim across Europe after debuting in 1935. Three years later they escaped Nazi-occupied Austria for the U.S. and eventually settled in Vermont, supporting themselves by touring. The couple also had three children together, for a total of 10 kids.

This new generation of singers — the third — came upon their musical chops from their grandfather, Werner von Trapp, portrayed in the film as the character Kurt. It was Werner who visited his grandchildren every summer in their Montana home, teaching them his beloved Austrian folk songs.

After he had a stroke and was unable to travel, his grandkids thought they would bring the music to him.

Sofia describes a pokey little recording studio in their hometown where they laid down a few tracks. That recording, however, was so good they were encouraged to start singing publicly and suddenly, while still teenagers, they had professional careers.

Werner died in Vermont in 2007 at age 91 but his legacy lived on in his grandchildren.

"Our parents can't sing," said Sofia, noting their father was a stonemason and their mother raised horses. Yet music was always central to family gatherings.

Starting with Austrian folk songs, the recording artists' music evolved as they toured from Africa to Asia, each new influence adding a new dimension. And of course, no concert would be a true von Trapp event without "Edelweiss."

"I hope everyone will sing along," said Sofia. "It's been an amazing 15 years. We've been able to tour the world. We've experienced so many different cultures, worked with so many amazing artists and producers."

vhill@therecord.com

Third generation of von Trapp family singers visit Canada one last time

WhatsOn Apr 13, 2016 by Valerie Hill Waterloo Region Record

KITCHENER — After conducting the much storied von Trapp family singers in a San Francisco concert a few years ago, the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony's music director Edwin Outwater decided he had to bring the quartet to Kitchener.

The four-member sibling group makes its symphony debut this weekend, the second last concert before they disband in a final concert May 3, in Portland, Ore.

"It's very bittersweet but it's been 15 years and we are excited about the next step in our lives, the next adventure," said Sofia von Trapp, one of the group's members, which also includes Melanie, Amanda and August von Trapp. All four are in their 20s and have no plans to continue with music, despite the strong family tradition.

The siblings are the great-grandchildren of Captain and Maria von Trapp, the couple whose story was made famous in the classic 1965 movie "The Sound of Music."

Based on a book written by Maria von Trapp, the film took a few liberties. For example, the family did not escape over the Alps. Rather, they travelled by train to Italy, and the Captain was actually very kind and loving whereas Maria had a wicked temper. She was hired as a caregiver for one sickly daughter but came to love all the children.

The original Trapp Family Singers were indeed a musical group and had won great acclaim across Europe after debuting in 1935. Three years later they escaped Nazi-occupied Austria for the U.S. and eventually settled in Vermont, supporting themselves by touring. The couple also had three children together, for a total of 10 kids.

This new generation of singers — the third — came upon their musical chops from their grandfather, Werner von Trapp, portrayed in the film as the character Kurt. It was Werner who visited his grandchildren every summer in their Montana home, teaching them his beloved Austrian folk songs.

After he had a stroke and was unable to travel, his grandkids thought they would bring the music to him.

Sofia describes a pokey little recording studio in their hometown where they laid down a few tracks. That recording, however, was so good they were encouraged to start singing publicly and suddenly, while still teenagers, they had professional careers.

Werner died in Vermont in 2007 at age 91 but his legacy lived on in his grandchildren.

"Our parents can't sing," said Sofia, noting their father was a stonemason and their mother raised horses. Yet music was always central to family gatherings.

Starting with Austrian folk songs, the recording artists' music evolved as they toured from Africa to Asia, each new influence adding a new dimension. And of course, no concert would be a true von Trapp event without "Edelweiss."

"I hope everyone will sing along," said Sofia. "It's been an amazing 15 years. We've been able to tour the world. We've experienced so many different cultures, worked with so many amazing artists and producers."

vhill@therecord.com

Third generation of von Trapp family singers visit Canada one last time

WhatsOn Apr 13, 2016 by Valerie Hill Waterloo Region Record

KITCHENER — After conducting the much storied von Trapp family singers in a San Francisco concert a few years ago, the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony's music director Edwin Outwater decided he had to bring the quartet to Kitchener.

The four-member sibling group makes its symphony debut this weekend, the second last concert before they disband in a final concert May 3, in Portland, Ore.

"It's very bittersweet but it's been 15 years and we are excited about the next step in our lives, the next adventure," said Sofia von Trapp, one of the group's members, which also includes Melanie, Amanda and August von Trapp. All four are in their 20s and have no plans to continue with music, despite the strong family tradition.

The siblings are the great-grandchildren of Captain and Maria von Trapp, the couple whose story was made famous in the classic 1965 movie "The Sound of Music."

Based on a book written by Maria von Trapp, the film took a few liberties. For example, the family did not escape over the Alps. Rather, they travelled by train to Italy, and the Captain was actually very kind and loving whereas Maria had a wicked temper. She was hired as a caregiver for one sickly daughter but came to love all the children.

The original Trapp Family Singers were indeed a musical group and had won great acclaim across Europe after debuting in 1935. Three years later they escaped Nazi-occupied Austria for the U.S. and eventually settled in Vermont, supporting themselves by touring. The couple also had three children together, for a total of 10 kids.

This new generation of singers — the third — came upon their musical chops from their grandfather, Werner von Trapp, portrayed in the film as the character Kurt. It was Werner who visited his grandchildren every summer in their Montana home, teaching them his beloved Austrian folk songs.

After he had a stroke and was unable to travel, his grandkids thought they would bring the music to him.

Sofia describes a pokey little recording studio in their hometown where they laid down a few tracks. That recording, however, was so good they were encouraged to start singing publicly and suddenly, while still teenagers, they had professional careers.

Werner died in Vermont in 2007 at age 91 but his legacy lived on in his grandchildren.

"Our parents can't sing," said Sofia, noting their father was a stonemason and their mother raised horses. Yet music was always central to family gatherings.

Starting with Austrian folk songs, the recording artists' music evolved as they toured from Africa to Asia, each new influence adding a new dimension. And of course, no concert would be a true von Trapp event without "Edelweiss."

"I hope everyone will sing along," said Sofia. "It's been an amazing 15 years. We've been able to tour the world. We've experienced so many different cultures, worked with so many amazing artists and producers."

vhill@therecord.com