Could they Make It? Entry 2: The Von Trapp Children

Just for fun, every now and then, we’ve been taking a video of a group from a different genre and discuss how they would fare if they tried their hands—or, more precisely but less idiomatically, their voices—at Southern Gospel.

Today’s entry: The Von Trapp Children. They are the grandchildren of Werner Von Trapp of the Trapp Family Singers, the group immortalized in the classic film The Sound of Music.

Two other songs from, evidently, the same taping: Down to the River and Edelweiss.

Pros: With their name and family history, they could probably make it in any genre they wanted. Also, with their focus on folk songs, they already sing a number of classic spirituals and hymns frequently sung in the genre. Their tight sibling harmonies would also be a great fit.

Cons: The simple arrangements on their projects would probably need to be beefed up a bit for the genre—though, overall, they could probably make it with their current style on most tracks. The genre has room for more simple Americana/folk stylings. Also, the biggest change they would probably have to make would be pulling the less Gospel-oriented folk songs from their programs.

What do you think?


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14 Letters to the Editor

Southern Gospel Journal welcomes letters to the editor. We will post the most thoughtful and insightful submissions. Ground rules: Don't attack or belittle groups or fellow posters, or advance heresies rejected by orthodox Christianity. Do keep comments positive, constructive, and on topic.
  1. They wouldn’t make it in my area….

  2. Hmmm…a wardrobe change might be in order for a switch to SG. Especially for the young man…

  3. No 🙂

  4. They are beautiful and I would purchase their recording as I give
    their performance a big BRAVO…Joe Sahadi

  5. Their unisons are absolutely gorgeous – but with a lack of three/four parts on this cut (I haven’t listened to the other clips) – they’d have a hard time being taken seriously.

  6. Beautiful. However, it’s something I couldn’t listen to very long.

  7. Well, I wrote out a reply and the site crashed for an hour.

    Not gonna write it all again, but basically I agreed with Chris and said the boy needed to wear long britches! :o)

  8. I have seen their aunt, Elisabeth Von Trapp, in concert and have many of her recordings. She has a lovely, haunting voice. Her concerts feature many songs that exemplify her strong Christian faith. I’m not much for solo artists, but Elisabeth Von Trapp is tops!

  9. They would be a great opening group for a concert. A couple of songs would be fun.

  10. Listening to the clicp again I must agree the boy needs to wear
    trousers as he is a little to old to wear what he has on…I still loved their singing and I hope whoever produced this clip will make a correction…I am sorry if I offended anyone with my
    comment…Bless you all in his name…Joe Sahadi

  11. Personally, I do not think their style of wardrobe is a factor in their musical ability. The Von Trapp Children are working off of their family legacy in large part, and that includes their traditional appearance. I really think it makes them endearing and a big part of what draws them to people. When I think of the “Sound of Music children,” this is exactly what I picture. It makes sense.

    That being said, I do not think they could make it in this genre. Honestly, I feel that much of the intrigue of this group is that they are the family that the Sound of Music was based on, and that makes them beloved by many. I love their sound and their traditional attire. Their simple harmonies are very sweet. However, that style of music is not something that I could listen to for an extended period of time and go back and listen to time and time again. I just do not think they could hold their own in the progressing SG world.

    They are delightful, though! 🙂

  12. Meagan, you’ve hit the nail on the head with your description of their wardrobe. The young man is wearing lederhosen. It has nothing to do with his age. It’s a traditional clothing style from Austria. The girls are also wearing traditional clothing from their family legacy.

    Could they make it in the Southern Gospel field? I doubt it. That’s obviously not their target market. The typical gospel music audience probably couldn’t get past their wardrobe and wouldn’t appreciate their excellent harmony and talent. Unfortunately, these days, on pitch singing is overlooked by the splash and flash of three chords a cloud of dust combined with a screaming ending to a song. That’s a sad commentary on the industry today.

    • Thank you, John.