Westview Commons' COVID-19 response:

Elisabeth von Trapp at Westview Commons

Photo of Elisabeth von Trapp

/ Community News /

Elisabeth von Trapp at Westview Commons

May 14, 2021

On Friday, May 7, 2021, Elisabeth von Trapp brought her legendary voice, sensational joy, and heartfelt gratitude to the Westview family. Her microphone and guitar were connected to a sound system in the Great Room at Country Living at Westview Commons, but the messages in her performance connected much deeper with the hearts and minds of those attending and those watching on the closed-circuit Channel 2 at Westview Health Care Center. Country Living at Westview Commons is the brand new, 110,000 square foot, state-of-the-art independent and assisted living facility located across the street from Westview Health Care Center. Originally, Elisabeth’s concert was meant to coincide with the grand opening of the new location last summer. Though it required rescheduling, the artist’s ultimate arrival exceeded expectations of both the listening audience and Elisabeth herself. Early in her set she exclaimed: “How beautiful it is to be here! What a beautiful place you live in.”

Music has an innate ability to bring people together...

Elisabeth is the granddaughter of Baron and Maria von Trapp and the daughter of Werner von Trapp (second oldest son of the Trapp Family Singers). The story of her family’s desperate departure from war-torn Europe became the award-winning Broadway musical and Hollywood film “The Sound of Music.” Everyone present at the concert was vaccinated; providing a sense of normalcy as they watched and listened. Throughout the show the audience sustained social distance but emotional closeness. Music has an innate ability to bring people together. This is surely something that Elisabeth von Trapp learned from her father Werner as well as her own career on stage. Elisabeth’s family history and personal experiences showcased her as the perfect entertainer for this transitional time moving away from a historically difficult era. Live musical performances used to be among the most frequent events in both locations, but out of medical necessity, such performances were discontinued over the past year. Considering all of the anticipation, she delivered a huge moment for the enthusiastic crowd. Resident comments included:

“(Elisabeth’s) voice was exquisite and the event played out beautifully. As she sang, I thought about her grandparents and the von Trapp family legacy. It was amazing to see her performing right in front of us,” said Nancy Cowley.

Richard Morrison added: “She has a wonderful voice, and an even brighter smile. She warmed the entire room with her singing.”

Many of the residents took this opportunity to wear some of their finest fashions, further highlighting the event as a special occasion. Their appreciation for Elisabeth von Trapp returned in her kind interactions with the audience. “She is very talented, and the passion behind her effort made it clear that she loved where she was,” Patricia Blain commented. “It felt like we weren’t only her audience—we were her friends.”

Well before the concert’s conclusion it proved clear that emotions stirred. If it were not for the melodic mastery that filled the room with sound, a pin drop could be heard. As she sang, played, and entertained, Elisabeth frequently addressed the crowd directly. These moments not only provided context for the songs she performed, but also established a deeper link between her and the audience. Westview Commons’ Executive Vice President David T. Panteleakos saw the performance and simultaneously saw the residents of the independent and assisted living facility enjoying the show to the fullest extent. Later he received a great deal of feedback from staff members at Westview Health Care Center indicating that the impact was equally profound among staff members and residents of the skilled nursing facility.

“Elisabeth von Trapp’s performance was scheduled over a year ago and it proved to be even more powerful at this moment in our lives. After what we have endured, we will always cherish this memory of Elisabeth as a beacon of light drawing us away from the darkness of the pandemic,” Mr. Panteleakos remarked.

When the singer is gone, let the song go on...

Elisabeth von Trapp looked forward to this May 7th show with shared anticipation considering she hadn’t performed a concert in the previous year. Before she finished, Elisabeth addressed the audience with gratitude, stating:

“When the singer is gone, let the song go on...I just love that line. You brought song back to me. It’s a beautiful gift—I shall always remember you. It’s been a full year of waiting and the gift is going to keep growing in me, because that’s the type of gift it is. I shall celebrate you and take you with me in my heart: that your life here flourishes and you blossom in your way, that your hopes and dreams continue to happen, and if you have hopes and dreams for others—you send those out. There’s such a need to have those prayers sent out."

That extra special message was immediately followed by an a cappella version of “I’ll Be Seeing You,” which segued into a deeply poignant edition of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow." This grand experience concluded with a meet and greet between the artist and her patrons. Many of the residents took the opportunity to purchase Elisabeth’s album “Something Good” which features Rodgers and Hammerstein classic tunes. The CD contains her signature in sound and she embellished the copies sold to Westview Commons residents with her signature in ink. Elisabeth von Trapp’s beautiful music provided an emotional earful, and throughout the concert many eyes remained cheerily tearful. Undoubtedly uplifting, the hour long performance offered a timeless memory for all in her presence.

Country Living at Westview Commons is a 75-unit independent and assisted living community conveniently located in picturesque Northeastern Connecticut. Affiliated with Westview Health Care Center, a nationally-ranked nursing facility according to CMS and U.S. News and World Report for the past 13 years, Westview Commons is a 115,000 square foot catered living facility dedicated to a genuine 5-star experience including outstanding service, culinary expertise and professional in-house entertainment. Located in Dayville, CT, Westview Commons combines convenience, tranquility and comfort; providing a lifestyle that seniors deserve.