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Nottingham musical family the Kanneh-Masons star in Christmas Eve BBC documentary following in the footsteps of The Sound of Music’s Von Trapps

A family of gifted musicians are following in the footsteps of Hollywood’s most famous singing family this Christmas.

A new documentary focused on Nottingham’s Kanneh-Masons will be broadcast on BBC 2 on Christmas Eve, and will follow the family as they visit Austria to walk in the footsteps of the Von Trapps from The Sound of Music.

The Hills are Alive with the Kanneh-Masons will star all nine members of the Kanneh-Mason family — including mum Kadie and dad Stuart — in key movie locations in Salzburg.

The Hills are Alive with the Kanneh-Masons will be on BBC2 on Christmas Eve.
The Hills are Alive with the Kanneh-Masons will be on BBC2 on Christmas Eve.

They explore the incredible story behind the film and the seven young Kanneh-Masons also perform their own arrangements of iconic music from the great soundtrack, including Climb Ev’ry Mountain, My Favourite Things, Do Re Mi and Edelweiss.

The Sound of Music is one of the most commercially successful films of all time, telling the remarkable story of the Von Trapps — seven brothers and sisters from Salzburg who formed a famous choral group in the 1930s, survived the Nazi-occupation of Austria and escaped to the USA in 1939.

The Kanneh-Masons are two brothers and five sisters, just like the Von Trapps.

Although the Kanneh-Masons are older than the Von Trapps were in the film — Isata is 27, Braimah 26, Sheku 24 and Konya 23, followed by Jeneba, 21, Aminata, 18, and Mariatu, 14 — they’re all great fans of the classic family film.

Stuart has often been branded Captain Von Trapp because he’s the dad of seven such musically gifted children and mum Kadiatu published an award-winning book in 2020, The House of Music: Raising The Kanneh-Masons, which was partly inspired by Maria Augusta Trapp’s 1949 autobiography, The Story of the Trapp Family Singers.

At home and onstage the Kanneh-Masons perform closely together and, like the Von Trapps, music plays a vitally important role in their everyday lives; they’re all talented musicians and at least four of them have already become internationally-renowned classical soloists.

Isata and Sheku were stars of this year’s BBC Proms and the whole family performed Carnival Of The Animals at a previous Proms season. Cellist Sheku won BBC Young Musician of the Year in 2016 and he also performed at the Royal Wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

As the show is produced by Wag Entertainment and East Midlands-based independent television company MacLarty Brown Media, the Kanneh-Masons perform tracks from The Sound of Music at Metronome Studios in Nottingham.

The Hills Are Alive With The Kanneh-Masons will be on BBC2 on Sunday, December 24, at 5.40pm.

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