Paramount show to be a family affair

Published 12:00 am Friday, December 20, 2002

Music is a family affair for the Larsons and Burgers.

Saturday, they will perform "A Family Family Christmas" with two musical families for the community of Austin at the Paramount Theater.

It was about five years ago when the families crossed paths.

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Nancy and Gordon Larson met Nancy and Paul Burger when they joined the Northwestern Singers -- a community choir.

As a volunteer at the Paramount over the years, Nancy Burger figured that she could raise some money herself by using her talents.

Time after time, the circumstances not being the right ones impeded her from materializing any plans for performances.

With the concert idea still pending in her mind, Nancy first suggested the idea of a family performance to her children and then to her friend Nancy Larson.

"I thought she was going to say no, but she said yes," Burger said.

With a history of musical performances under her belt, it was just a matter of getting all of her family and the Larsons to find the time for it.

The songs were chosen and the show was planned. But first, the approval of their children was needed. With several of their children away in college, phone conversations became routine communication.

With an array of musical talent among the sons and daughters -- David, Chris, Bryan and Bethany Larson and Charissa, Savannah and Shane Wheeler -- the Burgers agreed to participate.

"When you're talking talent, the kids are really good," said Gordon Larson in the tone of a proud father.

The artistic background and experience of both the Larson and Burger siblings cover just about every aspect of music and performance one can think of: theater, singing and instruments like guitar and piano.

"My family does well under pressure. I think it is going to be fun," Nancy Larson said.

Three weeks after the tentative plans, the 10 performing musicians are ready to make their "community contribution.

"We all have very distinct personalities and which is probably good, otherwise it would have been difficult to spend all that time together," Nancy Larson said.

The Saturday program is divided into two sections. The first half consists of secular songs such as Deck the Halls and Santa Baby and religious songs during the second half including Silent Night and God Rest Ye.

Nancy Burger said religious songs tend to be more dramatic and nicer and it is why they chose to end the program with.

Taking the stage will be nothing new for the two families after understanding the progressive history their performing.

"We could not live without this stuff (performing music). It's our fix," Nancy Burger said.

The show begins at 7 p.m Saturday at the Paramount. Adult tickets are $7, seniors and children is $5.

Roxana Orellana can be reached at 434-2214 or by e-mail at