Reminiscing About ‘The Sound of Music’ With Maria von Trapp

Rockettes Reflection

By Barbara Ann Woronko Anzalone

Throughout their 90-year history, the world-famous Rockettes have shared the stage—and unforgettable adventures—with many other world-famous personalities. They have appeared at such iconic events as the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and the Super Bowl and on TV shows like America’s Got Talent and Night of 100 Stars. The Rockettes are taking a moment to reflect on their favorite stardust memories.

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Rockette Barbara (fourth from the left) with Maria von Trapp (third from the right) and a few dancers prior to filming the PBS special

After my days of being a Rockette, I had the opportunity to work with Maria von Trapp, the last surviving sibling of seven brothers and sisters who were portrayed in the Broadway musical and film The Sound of Music. (She was the third-oldest child of seven born to Austrian Naval Capt. Georg von Trapp and his first wife).


Maria von Trapp (right) and Rockette Barbara taking a lunch break while filming the special in Stowe, VT.

My husband and his brother were in a folk music group called The Anzalone Brothers and Company and worked closely with American public broadcaster and television program distributor PBS.

In April 1998, PBS asked my husband if he would participate in a joint performance with the von Trapp family—particularly with Maria and her granddaughter, folk singer Elisabeth von Trapp. Of course my husband said yes and decided he also wanted to help produce the special at the Trapp Family Lodge in Stowe, VT.

When I met Maria for the first time, my immediate thought was how lovely and beautiful she was—she had her hair parted in the middle, pulled back into a braided updo and dressed in this near floor-length dress that was reminiscent of the old country. She reminded me a lot of my grandmother.

Maria sang “Motzi Ben” and played the concertina to open the television special while Elisabeth sang with my husband and his brother during the special, performing a medley of The Sound of Music songs and old whaling and folk tunes.

These two beautiful women were generous, lovely and kind-hearted. It was an amazing experience to be a part of something so special.

Barbara Ann Woronko Anzalone was a Rockette in 1974 and is the author of The Girl Next Door. She resides in Shavertown, Pa.

All images courtesy of Barbara Ann Woronko Anzalone