Relatives of Captain and Maria von Trapp have been touring for a decade, and now they call Central Texas home
By Michael Barnes for Austin 360
Updated: 12:23 p.m. Saturday, June 30, 2012
Published: 8:23 a.m. Saturday, June 30, 2012
Heavily, the piano pumps out the rhythm. After a decent interval, the first gentle notes emerge from the four costumed siblings. The achingly simple lyrics find new life in their silky, unsullied tones. The three sisters and their brother break into more complicated harmonies and ascend the final high notes of the sentimental song as easily as they’ve taken to the stage.
The effect is chilling.
One reason: Singing “Edelweiss” from Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “Sound of Music” are the great-grandchildren of Captain and Maria von Trapp, a touring foursome known until recently as the Von Trapp Children.
Sofia, 23; Melanie, 22; Amanda, 20; and Justin, 17; are reinventing themselves as the Von Trapps, a more grown-up ensemble that applies their famous choral inheritance to a wider range of music. The Montana natives recently appeared with the Portland, Ore.-based concept orchestra Pink Martini at ACL Live, where they announced, like so many other artists, that they’ve moved to Austin.
Dripping Springs to be exact. Which is perhaps as close as they could come in Central Texas to
mountainous Kalispell, Mont., where they grew up with dad Stefan von Trapp, a stonemason, and mom Annie Everitt von Trapp, their road manager. Their great-grandparents lived, of course, amid the Austrian Alps and their grandparents among the Green Mountains of Vermont.
“Not that we always try,” Sofia says, “but it must be in our blood that we’re always attracted to mountains.”
Cue: “The hills are alive …”
To some extent, the Von Trapps have already made it.
Like the Trapp Family Singers — which included grandfather Werner, who was More…