The performance and tribute to Burns’ poetry will begin at 6 p.m. at the Grand Center, 182 North 500 West, as participants join lovers of Burns’ poetry worldwide for the annual celebration of the bard’s birthday.
The concert is the centerpiece of Layer’s annual winter residency and will feature the Utah-based MacLeod, who appears locally as a soloist with Red Rock Rondo and the Celtic group Shanahy. Macleod is best known for her unique fiddling style and original songs, which have been heard on “A Prairie Home Companion,” Tom May’s “River Folk” and Judy Collins’ holiday program “Peace on Earth.” In addition, the Grand County High School Band will join in the music making for a couple of songs.
First held at Back of Beyond Books in 2003, the Burns Tribute Concert will also involve Moab locals in celebrating Burns’ universal themes of unity and the brotherhood of man. Several area residents will serve as guest readers of Burns’ poetry, including “To A Mouse” and the always-popular “Ode To A Haggis,” Burns’ famous missive decrying the virtues of Scotland’s national sausage.
Each year during the Moab celebration the haggis pudding is marched into the hall during a processional just before the poem is read. Then the sausage pudding is skewered with a gigantic sword to be dished out to the audience during intermission.
“I love when Moab’s Ron Regehr and Flora Erickson parade the haggis down the aisle with pipes flaring behind,” Layer said. “Big Ron with the tray and little Flora with her big sword make quite a sight.”
In addition to the concert, Layer’s 2014 residency will include coaching at the Moab Community Dance Band rehearsals on Thursday, Feb. 6 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at the Moab Arts and Recreation Center, 111 East 100 North. Layer will also appear on several on-air broadcasts on KZMU Community Radio.