The Mesquite Concert Series took the stage last Friday and Saturday at the Mesquite Community Theatre to begin its 2014-15 season. And just like Donny and Marie, this season opener is going a little bit country and a little bit rock-n-roll.
Mesquite Goes Country featured the Mesquite Community Band, which was founded by Larry LeMieux, and is a real community effort.
Spectators were treated to a visit by the Blues Brothers, or in this case, John Dearing and Brian Wursten portraying the Belushi and Aykroyd characters along with Doc “Elvis” Nielsen who will provide that bluesy and familiar rock-n-roll sound the ladies went crazy for.
The Toes, All That Jazz Dancers, dancers from Relevé Dance Studio and Marsha Swider and John Norwig also performed five dance numbers.
Instruments such as Trumpets, Trombones saxophone, clarinets, guitars drums and a bass created something that LeMieux says is, “Awesome, and a lot of fun!”
LeMieux first became involved with the arts organizations and the Mesquite Community Theatre because his wife, Eva, was a member of the Virgin Valley Theatre Group. LeMieux stated that he noticed they were having a hard time finding directors. LeMieux said, “I like music, being a dancer and former musician I thought well, maybe I’ll direct a musical.” LeMieux got involved in VVTG’s production of Nunsense where he wore the hat of choreographer and from there he went on to direct the musical Cow Girls the following season.
LeMieux said, “I thought rather than directing a play, I would take the vast amount of talent that Mesquite residents have and showcase it in a different type of musical production.” These thoughts led to the beginning of the Mesquite Concert series which debuted with only two bands, The Drifters and Southern Choice. From there the concert series brought forth productions such as Mesquite Goes Broadway, Mesquite Goes Hollywood, The Christmas Concert, A Night at the Opera, Mesquite has Talent and many others over the past several years.
LeMieux can be seen daily at the Mesquite Municipal Airport where he has successfully managed the facility for the past twelve years.
LeMieux is originally from the Detroit, Michigan area. When he was in high school his family moved to Pheonix Arizona where LeMieux graduated.
After graduation LeMieux met and married his wife Ava and moved to Salt Lake City. The couple owned an Arthur Murray Dance Studio where they both taught dance for twenty years.
Many Mesquite residents have had the pleasure of watching the couple dance in several of Mesquite’s past productions.
LeMieux and Ava have called Mesquite home since 1976. In 1997 LeMieux would begin working as a Newspaper Graphic Designer with the Desert Valley Times while they were still a privately owned newspaper.
LeMieux moved up in the ranks before the sale happened and became the Layout Designer for the entire paper.
When the DVT sold the paper to Gannett, LeMieux decided to start his own newspaper and began publishing the Valley Journal, only this time he put on the hats of reporter, editor and owner all at the same time. He later sold the paper and embarked on a new adventure with the City of Mesquite’s local airport where he still works 12 years later.
LeMieux wears many public hats indeed but he also wears many in private. LeMieux is a husband, father and grandfather who believes strongly in family love and support.
Larry Jr. is living in Las Vegas after completing three tours of duty in the Middle East and six years of service to our country.
Larry Jr. has a son Ryder; it is quite evident who is “the apple of Grandpa’s eye” when he is around. LeMieux doesn’t mind playing whatever games Ryder wants him to play and he spends that time completely consumed with love for the youngest LeMieux. Grandpa and Grandma have been instrumental in helping to raise Ryder during Larry Jr.’s time in the service.
Younger son Adam also works in Las Vegas. Adam graduated from the Conservatory of Recording Arts and Science, plays the drums and guitars and now works for a recording studio in Las Vegas where he works as a Lead Graphic Artist and Recording Engineer; it must just run in the family.
LeMieux and Ava generally make some sort of dancing appearance during the concerts LeMieux coordinates, but this year the community can look for him to be playing the trombone in the band. He still does the graphic work for many of the arts organizations and is now the Vice President for the new Mesquite Symphony Orchestra, which is scheduled to have their inaugural performance with over 40 musicians on November 22. LeMieux is also one of the musicians in the orchestra but that’s a whole other story.