Bringing The Sound of Music to life

Tahnee Gardiner plays Maria Augusta Kutschera.

Sounds like click bait, but not only is it true, well the novice Nun actually ends up being mother to 10 children, her story has become a massively successful movie, that was inspired by the musical which is considered an all-time true classic.

The novice Nun was Maria Augusta Kutschera, better known by her married name, Maria von Trapp. The movie and the musical are titled The Sound of Music.

When the committee of the Rockhampton Musical Union Choir, decided to bite the bullet and no matter what, plough ahead with putting on a musical production this year, after the disappointment of having to cancel last year, the chance to perform The Sound of Music was too good an opportunity to pass.

As the Producer of the production, Patricia McKenna, say’s, “The Sound of Music is loved by everyone”.

Not everyone may know though that the much-loved musical, featuring songs by the legendary Rodgers and Hammerstein, is actually based on a true story. There really was a Maria, memorably played by Julie Andrews in the 1965 movie, she did leave a convent to live at the home of Baron Georg von Trapp, who had 7 children and the family did flee from a Nazi controlled Austria.

There has been some creative licence to the real story for the musical (and movie), plus no doubt Director, Joy Philippi, will add some of her own with her direction of the production.

Principal leads in the production are Tahnee Gardiner, who plays Maria and Brad Villiers, who plays Georg von Trapp. Well-known to local musical production audiences, Brad brings the desired domineering, detached presence to the father character, the role demands. Which apparently Georg wasn’t in real life. While a relatively new face to the Pilbeam Theatre stage, Tahnee, plays the sweet Maria, which again in real life was not always so. As granddaughter, Elisabeth, reportedly said of her grand-mother, “not at all like Julie Andrews (portrayal)”.

There are about 80 people involved in putting the 3 performances of the musical on. “It is a major event and commitment for the committee and its members”, says Patricia McKenna.

Currently in rehearsals, Rockhampton Musical Union Choir production of The Sound of Music premieres on Friday October 29 at the Pilbeam Theatre. Tickets for the 3 performances are available from the theatre or online at

Whether you will be reliving your memories of this iconic musical or seeing and hearing it for the first time, you will be amazed by the professionalism of the local talent and enchanted by the timeless songs, that tell the story of a real family, who chose principles over possessions.