HisStory Winter 2010/11 127 Singers as concert favorites. Maria cleverly concealed her pregnancy from audiences with evolving costumes, and soon after the tour’s end, Johannes was born, the tenth and final child. As a tightly knit, self-su;cient family, the von Trapps sang, prayed, and worked together. Cross-country concert ours continued each season. In 1942 the family bought a farm near Stowe, Vermont, where the Green Mountains reminded them of Austria, and a spacious Austrian-style house became their Americanhome. During World War II, Rupert and Werner von Trapp served in the U.S. Army. Rosmarie and Eleonore joined the singing group when their brothers left, and the girls were homeschooled uring tours. “Our bus was a one-room rolling school house,” said their mother. When Johannes joined the group, he was similarly educated. Until he died in 1947, Captain von Trapp supported his children’s education and career. When the Trapp Family Singers disbanded in 1956, some of the children did mission work in New Guinea. In fact, daughter Maria stayed there for thirty ears. Rupert became a doctor; Werner farmed. Hedwig, Agathe, and Rosmarie becameschoolteachers. Johannesmanages the Trapp Family Lodge, an outgrowth of the family home. Johanna had seven children. Martina died in childbirth. Eleonore had seven daughters; several of themhomeschool. Sheandherhusbandare passionate supportersof home education. When The Sound of Music debuted, it brought the von Trapps unexpected
guitar, and accordion. Early music sung
by the siblings appears in My Favorite
Songs: Maria Von Trapp’s Childhood
The Captain and Maria married in
1927. Maria was delighted that her
new family was musically inclined. A
passionate singer herself, she taught the
children all the folk songs she knew.
Maria’s book, The Story of the Trapp
Family Singers, was the basis for the
film titled The Sound of Music.
THE TRAPP FAMILY SINGERS
Two daughters, Rosmarie and Eleonore,
were born to the Captain and Maria. The
older brothers and sisters sang constantly.
They learned sacred music, classics, and
more Austrian folk tunes. A musician and
choirmaster, Dr. Franz Wasner, agreed
to coach them. He transformed them
from amateurs to professionals, with
a repertoire of two hundred songs. A
concert tour made them singing sensations
through Europe in 1937. While the family
sang of joy and peace, Nazi Germany
prepared for war. In 1938 Germany
invaded Austria. The von Trapps were at
risk, being thoroughly anti-Nazi.
Captain von Trapp drew his family
together to decide their future. Opening
the Bible, he randomly settled on verses
exhorting Abraham to leave his country
and go to the land that God showed. For
the von Trapps, the o;er of an American
concert tour was God’s providence: a
ticket to freedom.
;After a stealthy escape from Austria,
the family arrived in New York. The first
U.S. tour launched the Trapp Family