The von Trapp Children: August, Amanda, Melanie, Sofia Follow In The Family Footsteps
The von Trapp children, Justin (now known as August), Amanda, Melanie and Sofia, formed a singing group at a very young age and decided to call it J.A.M.S. This was so that they would be able to remember their names! (It also just happens to be the name of their music label J.A.M.S. Media).
“Their unmistakable melodies, pristine harmonies and finite timing make them natural stars on stage” Sarah Dixon, marketing manager for the Vilar Perfoming Arts Center, Beaver Creek.
They are all very talented youngsters, who sing a collection of folk and classical songs as well as hits from the Sound of Music, because as their name suggests, they are related to that famous singing family - the von Trapps. All of them are great grand children of Georg von Trapp and his first wife, Agathe Whitehead.
The von Trapp Children, now known as The von Trapps, first started singing to cheer up their Grandfather, Werner von Trapp, who had suffered a stroke. They decided to give him a CD of them singing.
Since then, they have recorded five more CDs:
The von Trapp Children Volume 1
Christmas with the von Trapp Children
The von Trapp Children Volume 2
They have also recorded a DVD called 'Live in Concert'.
The von Trapps are currently involved in a musical collaboration with the band Pink Martini, and are touring Japan in the summer of 2013.
According to August, Amanda, Melanie and Sofia, music has skipped a generation, as their parents are not at all musical. However, they are certainly proud to be carrying on the family von Trapp’s tradition of music and singing that their great grandparents and grandparents were so famous for. Their harmonic voices blend beautifully together, just like the original von Trapp Family Singers.
“Your voices are as enchanting as your grandparents and great grandparents. Thank you for carrying on the beauty that your family was so very blessed with” Leslie Ann Barker.
The four believe that because they are brothers and sisters, it helps with their singing. They feel that they think alike, talk alike, know each other well and have a strong connection between the four of them. All these qualities help in creating a good blend of sounds.
“We communicate almost telepathically,” said Amanda and Melanie nearly in unison. “We can give one another a certain look and we all know what it means. We all get it.”
Their singing career has taken them all over the world, and as Melanie says: “There are so many amazing things that we’ve been able to see and to do, through this singing and traveling”
One such ‘lifetime highlight’ was when they were asked to sing for the president of Rwanda. It was at Kwita Izina in aid of the Mountain Gorilla Naming Ceremony. They were there to help protect the few remaining Mountain Gorillas left in the world, and were asked to sing the national anthem of Rwanda.
“It wasn't easy learning the anthem in that language, and we only had a short time to do it,” said Melanie. “We were writing it out phonetically, and literally still practising as we walked into the meeting where we were going to sing for the president. It's such a powerful song.”
For some of their performances the girls wear traditional Austrian dresses or ‘dirndls’. These are very special as some are the original outfits that Maria von Trapp, their step great grandmother used to wear. The buttons on a dirndl worn by Sofia, are made from Austrian coins which are over 100 years old.
The von Trapp Children, August, Amanda, Melanie and Sofia all have a burning desire to keep their heritage alive by sharing the love and enjoyment that they have all found in music.
As Amanda has said about them carrying on the tradition of the Sound of Music, they all view it as "a blessing, not a burden".