Amanda von Trapp is the third oldest in the line of inimitable von Trapp siblings, but who’s counting? (We are, apparently!) The grandchildren of the youngest boy (portrayed as Kurt, in The Sound of Music) in the famous von Trapp family, and thus great-grandchildren of Georg and Maria von Trapp, our von Trapps grew up as singing siblings with their family in Montana and started touring the world at a young age. They didn’t intend to follow their famous ancestors into singing as a career, but when their grandfather, who taught them Austrian folk songs from the time they were in their respective cradles, was in the hospital after a stroke, they banded together to make a recording together to cheer him up. And thus discovered that they had a knack for this sort of thing! Maybe it was in the genes? In any case, one day, years later, they arrived in Portland to perform with the Oregon Symphony, and Thomas, who has always been obsessed with The Sound of Music, invited them to come up and sing with the band at the holiday tree-lighting ceremony in Portland, sparking a friendship that would lead to dozens of performances together, the album Dream a Little Dream, and many festive schnitzel night parties!
The von Trapps are known for how well their voices blend, so it feels unfair almost to point this out, but it’s Amanda’s voice that you hear on the lead vocals of the song “Dream a Little Dream” (which has over 15,000,000 streams on Spotify!) on our collaborative album of the same name. A few years ago, the von Trapps decided to hang up their lederhosen and do Adult things like go to college and find careers, and, as you’ll learn below, Amanda is nearly finished with her MA in Foreign Service at Georgetown! But she was kind enough to take a few moments out of her studying to answer a bunch of questions for us.
1. If you could have seen any musician in concert, dead or alive, who you never got to see live, who would it be?
Oh, ABBA. No question.
2. What is your favorite Pink Martini song to perform?
“But Now I’m Back” because we get to sing about snacks.
3. What Pink Martini song gets stuck in your head?
“Aspettami” because I’m pretty sure James Bond is lingering backstage when it plays.
4. If you could have a side gig in any current band, which?
I would work for Eurovision and join the group with the best outfits and pyrotechnics.
5. If you had a robot that could do one household chore for you… what would it be?
Putting fitted sheets on the bed—connecting the stretchy part to the right corners is such a colossal waste of energy.
6. If you could instantly be fluent in any language, which?
Something extraterrestrial, just in case they arrive.
7. Who is your favorite movie director?
I’m not very familiar with movie directors. I’ll say something like “Spielberg did it again” or “Kubrick was on to something” if I need to cover up my ignorance. I’m a little more interested in screenwriters like Sonya Levien, Billy Wilder, Greta Gerwig, Aaron Sorkin. The “walk with me” joke never gets old and is pretty funny to pull off backstage with all the hallways and dressing rooms. It’s also funny when someone doesn’t get it and thinks I’m eager for exercise.
8. If you could have one dish from any restaurant appear instantly anytime, which?
Portland’s Luce Bistro has the BEST Linguini Rabbit Ragu and grilled cabbage! I miss Luce.
9. What music would you choose as a soundtrack to your most triumphant moment?
Mozart’s “Serenade for Winds” as I slowly rise from the ashes of defeat. Then “Super Trooper” kicks in.
10. What’s your favorite sweet/dessert?
Lebkuchen and a cup of coffee. Also, Salt & Straw Ice Cream
11. Pride of Lions, Pod of Whales… what would you call a pack of squirrels?
A Cartel. Oh, wait, a Cartail.
12. Are you on the party bus or sleepy bus?
I was mainly on the sleepy bus when we were touring the Dream a Little Dream album with Pink Martini. It makes sense, right? Nevertheless, there were some pretty great memories made on the party bus too! #danceparty
13. If you could safely tour any ancient civilization, which?
I first read the question as safely going “on-tour” in an ancient civilization which is cool but doesn’t exactly sound like a sold-out tour. 🙂 I would want to see the submerged city of Heracleion off the coast of Alexandria, but I’d have to get over my fear of diving.
14. What is your favorite non-musical hobby?
15. If you were instantly skilled enough to have any one other occupation in the world besides musician, what would you choose?
FBI Special-Agent Amanda von Trapp, Agent Mulder and Scully’s most promising protégé.
16. What is your favorite city in the world?
Istanbul… and DC.
17. What’s the most fun thing about being in Pink Martini?
I could no sooner choose a star in the sky! Honestly, many of my favorite memories are working with Pink Martini. There have been so many jokes, silly out-takes in the studio, magical onstage moments, hilarious tour adventures, waiting-at-the-airport conversations, and irreplaceable experiences that helped me grow professionally and personally. It’s a family of wonderfully unique and talented people. Pink Martini has such a tight core, yet they’re so inclusive and eager to expand their story with guests and new music in constant pursuit of meaningful interactions. Music diplomacy at its finest.
18. How are you keeping sane and calm during this crisis and these months of quarantine?
I’m only two months away from finishing my MA at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service, so I have spent my entire quarantine studying from dawn to dusk. After fifteen years of traveling the world as an ambassador of music, I wanted to use that experience to better understand and carry on the diplomatic work of my family’s story.