Changes & Challenges

Changes In The Lives of The Trapp Family Singers are memories of Maria von Trapp, age 97, who is the third child of Agathe Whitehead von Trapp and Captain von Trapp.

von Trapp Family Singers   von Trapp Family Singers

The first change in our choir (The Trapp Family Singers) came about when our two brothers, Werner and Rupert, volunteered for the United States 10th Mountain Division. They trained at Camp Hale and were sent to Italy to fight against the Nazi's. With their departure we lost our tenor and bass.

In order to keep singing, Mother shifted to tenor, Hedwig remained at alto and Father Wasner sang bass alone, but we managed. Thank God our brothers returned home safely after the war. Rupert did not join us again but pursued his calling to be a doctor. Werner returned to his place in the choir and played the Viola Da Gamba.

The next shock for us was Father's death at age 67 after struggling with emphysema, which was the result of smoking and four years of living in the close quarters of a submarine. He died in Stowe in 1947 and is buried in our family cemetery near the lodge.

Our sister Johanna left in 1949 to marry Ernst Florian Winter. She was replaced by Charlene Peterson whose husband, Hal Peterson, also joined us singing bass and playing the trumpet. Annette Brophy, Barbara Stechow, Donald Meissner, Peter Lamanna and Alvero Villa sang with us to round out the choir.

The next change occurred when our sister, Martina married Jean Pupire, one of our Canadian friends. Martina died during childbirth in 1951. She is also buried in the family cemetery at the lodge.

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