Trapp Family Music Camp
The Trapp Family Music Camp are memories of Maria von Trapp, age 97, who is the third child of Agathe Whitehead von Trapp and Captain von Trapp.
In 1944, our mother, Maria Augusta von Trapp, leased a military camp at the foot of our hill, which was about to be dismantled. She always dreamed of creating a music center to bring people together to sing. This spot was perfect!
We invited people who loved to sing, many of whom had never sung in a group. Our conductor, Father Wasner, was in charge of the choir. I was responsible for teaching the campers to play the recorder, and in the evenings, they learned folk dances. Father played the violin. When our brother Werner returned from WWII, he played the clarinet. I joined in with the accordion, and together the three of us provided the music for the various folk dances from around the world.
Weather permitting, all of us would pile into the buses and go on picnics in the mountains, alongside lakes and waterfalls. In the evenings, we gathered in the chapel, a former barrack, where we sang hymns and received the blessing by Father Wasner.
On the last evening of the camp, everyone walked up to the farm where we served Schmarren (similar to a pancake with sugar and raisins, cut into little pieces) and hot dogs cooked on the low fire. After the meal, we enjoyed folk dancing and the Trapp Family Singers sang for the guests. Then we walked back to the music camp and gathered around a bonfire where the entire choir sang songs it had learned during the sing weeks at camp. It was a special treat when one of our campers sang spirituals.
Each summer from 1944 to 1955, we conducted four, 10-day camp sessions. It was a beautiful time for all of us, and many friendships formed at the music camp continue to this day.