Meet Norwich's Von Trapps: The musical family drawing thousands
- Credit: Matt Hodges
People across Norwich will have their own Christmas traditions, from a takeaway on December 24 to carolling on the big day.
But one city family has taken their festive jingles to the next level thanks to a maestro couple who has now got their talented daughter involved.
For the last eight years Laura and Matt Hodges have recorded a Christmas performance for thousands of people over the years watching via facebook.
But visitors to the annual event will also have seen their daughter Milly growing up, after she first appeared in one of the videos aged four.
Over the years the little girl has transformed from playing violin to taking centre stage (or living room) aged 12 with her saxophone in hand.
Laura, 42, is head of performing arts at the Thetford Academy with her husband Matt, 41, a professional musician, teacher and owner of Berries Barn Piano in Blofield.
Laura said: “It all began when Milly became part of the Norwich Suzuki group alongside her lessons and every year they put on a Christmas concert for all their violin students.
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“Everyone plays arrangements of Christmas songs, so we helped her to practise and decided to film it for friends and family, and the tradition began there. We never in a million years expected it to get as big as it has.”
Milly, who is now a pupil at Thorpe St Andrew School, works with her parents every year to pick their song.
Laura, who lives in Blofield with her family, added: “We begin the discussions at the beginning of December, and once we agree, we record."
Usually the family opts for something merry and bouncy however this year they decided to pick something a little slower to commemorate their 14-year-old dog Bilbo, who died at the beginning of December.
Luckily the clan of maestros play 12 instruments between them – so every Christmas song is on offer for them to pick.
Laura added: “It’s very rare that we have a chance to all play together. Milly is part of the school orchestra and choir, she does cheer training with the East Coast Emeralds four times a week and is part of Echo Youth Theatre.
“The fact we are all so busy is why our Christmas tradition has become so special to us!”
- The Hodge family videos over the years:
In 2014 they performed Deck the Halls
In 2015 it was Oh Christmas tree
2016 was a classic Jingle Bells
2017 was Hark! The Herald Angels Sing
2018 saw a performance of Ding Dong Merrily on High.
For 2019 there was a mashup of Last Christmas and Merry Christmas Everyone.
Back to a traditional number in 2020 with Feliz Navidad.
And 2021 saw Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.