For a Heart Blessed with the Sound of Music

At the beginning of the year, I crossed another item off my bucket list—well, sort of.  I’m a big fan of the film The Sound of Music.  My actual bucket list item would be to take the Sound of Music tour in Salzburg, Austria, where the movie was filmed 50 years ago.  But since that is fairly unlikely, I did the next best thing. I attended a Sound of Music Sing-A-Long at the 5th Avenue Theater in Seattle on New Year’s weekend.

Sound of Music MarqueeWhat is a Sound of Music Sing-A-Long?

I first heard about this event from the special features section of my Sound of Music DVD.  They showed a sing-a-long at the Hollywood Bowl in California.  People dressed in costumes and participated in various sing-a-long theatrics while the movie was showing (similar to what is done for The Rocky Horror Picture Show).  It was a comical idea, but I didn’t think I’d ever actually go to one.

Then last fall when I wrote The Little Girl Inside, a post about the significance of the Sound of Music to me and how it intersected with my trip to Spain, I searched for the sing-a-long event online.  I filed the Seattle event away mentally, not sure if I could free up the time over the holidays or who would want to attend.

As the days quickly passed toward the New Year’s weekend, I vacillated between going by myself, inviting others, and not going at all.  I ended up going by myself, and I’m so glad I did.  I didn’t quite know what to expect at the event.  I was having a rough time emotionally over the holidays and didn’t know how I would react to the production.  I wanted to experience it privately, so to speak—or at least to be anonymous in the crowd of strangers.  It was such a memorable event in so many ways.

What happened at the Sing-A-Long?

When I arrived at the theater, I immediately saw people dressed up for the costume contest. Thankfully they were in the minority.  There were nuns, people dressed in lederhosen, children dressed as the Von Trapp family, etc.  The contest preceded the movie.

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Before the movie started an announcer appeared on stage to give us instructions on how to use the goody bag items during the movie.  This was not a passive movie-going experience.  And you weren’t expected to just sing, you were to interact with the movie at prescribed times as well.

The announcer and his assistants demonstrate gestures for “Do, Re, Mi”.

The announcer and his assistants demonstrate gestures for “Do, Re, Mi”.

Other interactive ways we participated were when specific characters appeared on the screen:

  • For Maria, we cheered.
  • For the Nazi’s, we booed.
  • For Rolf, the love interest of Liesl, we barked like a dog, “ruff, ruff”.
  • For Baroness von Schraeder, we hissed.

And every once in a while someone in the audience would shout out a humorous remark. There were other ways that we interacted with the movie as well, but I won’t spoil it for others who may opt to go in the future, which I highly recommend doing.

Props from the goody bag: a swatch of curtain fabric, Edelweiss,
an invitation to the ball, a party popper for the ‘big kiss’, and flash cards.

On a More Serious Note

For me the best part of the event was the opening scene of the movie.  It started out with the announcer making comical comments and shouting to Maria, but his antics were quickly overshadowed by the grandeur of the movie.

The movie opens with the camera panning over breathtaking views of the Alps and Salzburg, Austria.  It eventually zooms in on Maria, played by Julie Andrews, coming up over the crest of a hill onto a grassy knoll.  The instrumental prelude for “The Sound of Music” main theme song is building in the background when Maria bursts out singing with her arms stretched wide:

“The Hills are alive with the sound of music,
With songs they have sung for a thousand years,
The hills fill my heart with the sound of music,
My heart wants to sing every song it hears…

…I go to the hills when my heart is lonely,
I know I will hear what I’ve heard before,
My heart with be blessed with the sound of music,
And I’ll sing once more.”
© 1959 Rogers & Hammerstein

I was lost in the moment as the song naturally flowed from my lips in perfect sync with Julie Andrews’ glorious voice, and the voices of over 2000 other enthusiastic movie fans.  A few tears were shed as I was overtaken by the magic and emotion of this sentimental memory from my childhood.  At the end of the song, the theater burst into applause, which they did after every song just like it was a live performance.

If you’ve never seen the movie, or you want to experience the opening scene from a sing-a-long perspective, watch this short video.

The lyrics were highlighted word by word for each song in the movie.

The lyrics were highlighted word by word for each song in the movie.

Singing Once More

A buried part of me came alive when my mother passed away three years ago; and music was a part of that awakening.  I encourage you to find the hidden treasures that are buried within you as well—the little creative things that give you joy.  When you do, embrace it as a special part of who you are.  And maybe like me, you’ll sing once more.

This post is listed on Christian Mommy Blogger/Fellowship Fridays and Missional Women/Faith Filled Friday.

Leave a comment


  1. Gede Prama

     /  March 1, 2014

    visit your blog, read an interesting article. thank you friends for sharing and greetings compassion 🙂


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    I'm an author, writer, speaker, mentor & mom. I've struggled to find my voice all my life as I lived in the shadows of a mother with mental illness. Thankfully that was not the legacy that she handed down to me. It took a lot of recovery and deep healing work to rise above it.

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