It is an iconic musical about the beloved Von Trapp family - fleeing Germany's control over Austria. "So long, farewell, auf Wiedersehen, goodnight," is a familiar tune from the award-winning stage production and movie. Although the seven Von Trapp children bid farewell from Austria in 1938, love for them lives on right here in northern Nevada.

'The Hills are Alive' at Bartley Ranch for The Sound of Music put on by Sierra School of Performing Arts. However, long before the stage lights go on, the seats are filled and the band is in place for opening night, there are weeks of rehearsals! The cast started rehearsing shortly after auditions back in May - which proved challenging for the director to whittle down the cast from a huge pool of talent. "Little did I know that we would find such talented children in our community. We had 120 people show up to our auditions - adults and children," explains SSPA's Artistic Director and the Director of the show, Janet Lazarus.

Once leading roles like Maria, Captain Von Trapp and his children were filled, the hard work began. The cast rehearsed lines, songs and choreography for a dozen weeks during the summer. "They're incredible; I couldn't have asked for a better cast," shares Janet - who grew up in New York and has acted all her life. She finds passion bringing stories to the stage - for all to enjoy. "There's nothing like it. When the crowd is going, 'Wow, this is great!' and they're applauding and stand up to recognize the cast - it's amazing."

Janet and her talented team - including an accomplished pianist, a dance choreographer, a stage manager and a costume designer - have been preparing for eight shows at the Robert Z Hawkins theater in Bartley Ranch. From the script to set design and props, the show has been months in the making... all to tell this powerful story of love through adversity. And now, it is up to the cast to, well... make it sing. Opera-trained, Jesse Briggs says it all pays off opening night. "There's nothing more exhilarating than being on stage and once you get to the performance and get reaction from the audience - it makes it all worth it." She says working with such a talented group of young people has been a blessing, too.

Decades after music brought the Von Trapp family together, it is still doing the same for our community, too. Opening night is Friday, August 11th. For a complete list of dates, times or to buy tickets, click on:

Sierra School of Performing Arts provides children and adults in northern Nevada the opportunity to perform and fine tune their skills. Along with high-quality productions, SSPA also offer classes and camps.