The Hills are Alive!!

14 12 2010

On Saturday, I had the amazing opportunity to play with the Von Trapp Children in Marshall, Texas. These four siblings, ages 16-22, are the great-grandchildren of Captain and Maria von Trapp, of Sound of Music fame.

Going into the performance, I had no idea what to expect. Turns out I was one of just six musicians accompanying the singing group. The Von Trapps were running late for the second rehearsal because they had to drive over from Birmingham (after a performance with the Alabama Symphony the night before). And although they were the guests of honor, and we were happy to wait for them, they entered the convention center full of apologies. Sofi, the oldest, strode onstage, introduced herself to each of us individually, and thanked us for being there.

And that opening set the tone for the rest of the day. I was impressed not only by their vocal talent (which was PHENOMENAL) but also by their graciousness and genuine friendliness. Having traveled the world on concert tours, they could easily have come to Marshall with their noses up, deploring this backwards town and its less-than-virtuosic musicians. (And it wouldn’t be the first time something like that had happened!)

But in fact, they did just the opposite. They were excited to be back in Texas, where the weather was considerably warmer than their Montana home. They ate dinner with us backstage, and we had a wonderful time getting to know them a little bit better. And after the performance was over, they even asked if they could take a picture with us!

I shared this story with my Sunday School class this past Sunday morning, and Conrad interrupted. “It’s like Jesus, isn’t it?” he said.

“What do you mean?” I asked. I hadn’t really planned to attach a moral to this story.

“Well, like, we should be getting excited about getting to meet God, and we should be wanting to have our picture made with him. But it’s just the opposite. Jesus came here to us, and wanted to get to know us.”

I was speechless. He was right, of course. What a great Christmas story!!

And here’s the (completely unsolicited) pitch: If you ever get the chance to go hear the Von Trapps in concert, please please take it!!! They’re 100% worth it. And if you just can’t wait until they come to you, go listen to them here