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Another farewell for the von Trapp family

The von Trapp family is taking a final bow.

After fifteen years carrying on the family's musical tradition, the great-grandchildren of the family depicted in the 1965 musical The Sound of Music have decided to stop performing as the von Trapps to pursue individual interests.

Sofia, Melanie, Amanda and August have traveled around the world teaching, singing and creating music of their own while supporting their family's legacy.

They will host a final farewell concert May 3 at the Star Theater in their hometown of Portland, Oregon.

“Our family story as been shared in nearly every corner of the world. It has been a surreal honor to continue this musical tradition and be a part of such a hopeful message to the world for these last 15 years," said the von Trapps in a statement. "We want to thank our family and friends who have supported and encouraged us throughout all of these adventures."

Just last year, The Sound of Music celebrated 50 years with a DVD re-issue and a spring re-release in theaters. The film's popularity remains strong.

In recent years, The Sound of Music sing-alongs have become popular, according to Vanity Fair magazine . In a Rocky Horror-esque twist, audiences from Salzburg to London’s West End to the Hollywood Bowl attend screenings in full costume while belting out well-known tunes from the film such as "My Favorite Things," and "Do-Re-Mi."

Based on a section of the 1949 book, The Story of the Trapp Family Singers by Maria von Trapp, the Hollywood version of the von Trapp's story obviously took certain liberties with the family's history. 

In the musical, Maria left the convent to become a governess for seven ill-mannered children. In reality, there were 10 von Trapp children (three were born to Maria and Georg) and Maria was initially hired as a tutor for one who was recovering from illness, according to Prologue Magazine .

Movie Maria, aka actress Julie Andrews, would end up falling in love with Georg von Trapp, aka actor Christopher Plummer. As a family, they performed before fleeing the stage and the country just before the Nazi takeover of Austria. Instruments in hand, they climbed every mountain to escape.

In later years, the von Trapp children would clarify that they actually hopped a train and headed to America where they arrived safely and legally in Niagara Falls, New York in 1942.

Maria, who died in 1987, had kept the Trapp Family Singers together for years. The original group disbanded in 1955 and at the time, few of the members were actually von Trapps.

The next generation of von Trapps resurrected the family band and performed with musical greats including Wayne Newton and Rufus Wainwright.

In 2014, they released Dream a Little Dream, a collaborative album with Pink Martini and Thomas Lauderdale.

Last year, they released their own album, Dancing in Gold -- which featured original songs inspired by their travels. Here's a look at them performing the title track:

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About the Author

Nedra Rhone has been a features reporter with the AJC for 10 years. She’s written about everything from fashion to food to news.