Twangin’ in the New Year

Published 11:08 am Monday, December 19, 2011

From left, Bret Canny, and Nate and Joy Riley practice Adele’s “Someone Like You.” The trio will perform at the Paramount Theatre’s New Year’s Eve Big Country Music Show. -- Trey Mewes/

Paramount sets schedule for New Year’s Eve show

Austin will be ready to ring in the New Year with another stacked-up New Year’s Eve show.

The Paramount Theatre’s annual New Year’s Eve show will go big and go country this year, with performers from the Grand Ole Opry to local talents and more.

“It’s really a nice, big program for the people on New Year’s Eve,” said Denny Charnecki, local promoter. Charnecki is organizing the New Year’s Eve show and will play with his band the DC Drifters again.

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The highlight of the show may be Millie Kittleson, former Grand Ole Opry performer. Kittleson performed in Austin earlier this year for a similar Big Country show to much attention, according to Charnecki.

“People came up and said, ‘We need to have this again,’” he said.

Barb Sprandel and Virginia Milton, local musicians who participated in Austin’s Got Talent, will also perform.

“It is exciting,” said Milton, who will be performing several love songs. “I really love it.”

Amanda Corey, an Austin’s Got Talent alum making her name around the Midwest, will also perform at the Paramount on New Year’s Eve, along with champion fiddlers Wendy Larson and Sylvia Davis, both from Austin.

Doug Bathke and Ann Hemann will perform, and former Miss Austin Debra Nordland will grace the stage, too.

Perhaps one of the most interesting acts will be Caleb Aliza, a 6-year-old who placed third at this year’s Austin’s Got Talent. Charnecki said Aliza’s performance was quite a surprise when he got on stage.

“I’m really glad he took third,” he said.

Nate and Joy Riley, the brother and sister who took first and second at this year’s Austin’s Got Talent, will also perform several pop songs with piano accompanist Bret Canny. The Rileys didn’t expect to participate in Austin’s Got Talent at first, though they’ve been singing for quite some time. Yet their grandparents volunteered to be ushers so they could hopefully see Nate, 20, and Joy, 16, perform.

“We said, ‘Well, we better be in it then,’” Nate said.

The two won with “Someone Like You,” by Adele, which had been released when the contest took place.

“We’re excited and kind of just honored to be here,” said Joy, who also said it was going to be fun to perform with professional musicians.

The New Year’s Even Big Country Music Show will take place at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 31. Tickets are $10 in advance, $12 at the door, $5 for students and can be purchased at the Paramount Box Office.