Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN


May 7, 2009

North Alive With The Sound Of Music

North Decatur High School’s Chautauqua Day, an event that helps students focus on what they learn through an ample collection of projects and other ventures, had a very special guest Tuesday night.

Rosemarie Von Trapp, whose family’s exploits are widely known from the 1965 musical film “The Sound of Music,” visited the North Decatur stage to share her story, sing a few songs and clarify some aspects of the film that were embellished for the silver screen.

In the movie, Maria, a woman studying to be a nun, is sent to watch over the seven children of a widower naval commander, Capt. Georg Ritter von Trapp. Ultimately, Maria bonds with the children and introduces them to music before they leave Austria out of fear of the Third Reich.

Following a full day of Chautauqua events, Rosemarie Von Trapp told the crowd that she had never been in a Chautauqua before. When North Decatur teacher and Chautauqua organizer John Pratt called Von Trapp to invite her to the school, she was ill.

“I said, ‘Lord, if you want me to go, you have to make me feel better,” Von Trapp explained.

The 80 year-old said that North Decatur was a wonderful school, noting that she was home-schooled, which was boring because she couldn’t be with friends. Her life had begun in Austria, and on Tuesday, she was in Decatur County.

“That’s quite a trip, and now I’m here,” Von Trapp said.

She led the group in song, belting out “My Favorite Things” from the musical before moving on to talk about the movie.

“I’m number eight, which means I’m not in the movie,” she explained.

In reality, there had been 10 Von Trapp children, not seven. However, Rosemarie’s sister Maria von Trapp did actually make dresses out of curtains. Her father also did have a whistle from his days as a submarine captain. In those days, Rosemarie Von Trapp explained, submarines were very loud and required a whistle for the captain to keep in contact with the sailors. He trained his family to listen to the whistle, too.

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