By Abbey Snow

‘Live at the Library Concert Series’ Returns

The ‘Live at the Library Concert Series’ has returned after their winter break to start performing again Sunday afternoons in front of the Mesquite Library. 

Norm Utley, Deborah Stephenson and Judi Sargent initially started up the Live at the Library Concert Series in the fall of 2021 to give musical groups in the community a place to perform.  They started off the season with the first performance on October 3, 2021 featuring ‘The Mesquite Cafe Blues Band.’   

Because they use an outside venue, the colder weather hinders the ability for groups to perform. Therefore, they took a winter break after the concert held on December 19, 2021 with the performance of ‘The Boomers.’ Now with the weather warming up, they will kick off this year’s season again featuring ‘The Mesquite Cafe Blues Band’ on March 6th, Stephenson said.

“We are trying to showcase the local talent and share the joy music brings with all who show up,” Stephenson said. “I like to say, ‘A concert needs an audience and performers.’” 

They have had a great response since they started this event with various musical groups performing each Sunday, as well as local charities that have attended the events to help out.   

“We have local charities acting as concessionaires selling bottled water, soda, and some sell snacks,” Stephenson said. “They don’t raise a lot of money,  but the community gets to learn a bit about the charities and see their neighbors’ involvement. The Mesquite Showgirls, VFW, American Legion, Mesquite Toes, Mesquite Women’s History and Cultural Center, and the Mesquite Rotary have assisted in this endeavor.” 

The concerts include vocalists and instrumentalists. They vary in genre including: jazz, blues, classical, pop, show tunes, bluegrass, Beatles, easy listening, sacred, and patriotic. 

“The Library provides an amazing plaza convenient for all,” Stephenson said. “All attendees and performers count as library visitors, which helps funding for the library.” 

They have also invited the Virgin Valley High students prepping for competition to perform their solos in front of the friendly audiences. 

“Our fellow musicians are eager for the students ‘ participation,”  Stephenson said.

Stephenson said The Sun City Musicians and the members of Methodist Church have stepped up in a big way. Attendees have brought well behaved children and dogs, and have danced and sung along to the music. Roy and Deborah Stephenson, Norm Utley, Judi Sargent, and the library staff strive to ensure the concerts run smoothly. This season Sharon Rae is joining them as well in helping with their efforts.   

“We are so thrilled and thankful that so many musicians have stepped up to perform for free,” Stephenson said. “The Mesquite Cafe Blues draw a sizable audience and plan to offer their latest CD for sale with proceeds going to the charity supporting.  The Mesquite Toes have also volunteered for this to help get the season started.”

The ‘Live at the Library Concert Series’ schedule is as follows: 

March 6th   – The Mesquite Cafe Blues Band 

March 13th –  Dry Heat 

March 20th – The Hitt Man 

March 27th – SC Strummers 

April 3rd – Cello Fusion and the Horn Quintet

April 10th – Half Notes led by Marie Palmer and Suite Trio
April 17th  – Easter – no concert
April 24th – Grant Gunn and Guess Who(?)

Stephenson said they are always looking for local talent and have a few openings for May. Those interested in participating please contact Deborah Stephenson at 330-461-0453, or Norm Utley at 916-548-6733.

The performances are on Sundays from 3:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. on the Mesquite Library Plaza, free of charge. They recommend attendees bring lawn chairs and a couple of dollars to buy water.