Kate MacLeod

Christopher Layer and Kate MacLeod will join forces to celebrate the birthday of Robert Burns, the Scottish bard.

This is the tenth year the Moab Music Festival has joined poetry lovers worlwide who mark the poet’s birthday each year.

Robert Burns may be best known for the new year’s anthem “Auld Lang Syne.”

The concert is the centerpiece of Layer’s annual winter Moab Music Festival 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.

The first Burns Tribute Concert was held at Back of Beyond Books in 2003. Over the years the annual tribute involved Moab locals who will celebrate Burns’ universal themes of unity and the brotherhood of man by serving as guest readers of Burns’ inimitable poetry, including “To A Mouse” and the always-popular “Ode To A Haggis,” Burns’ famous missive decrying the virtues of Scotland’s national sausage.

Moab audiences have learned to love the smell of this signature dish for at least one winter night when the sound of the Layer’s Great Highland Pipes and MacLeod’s fancy fiddling, and the happy tunefulness of the Moab Community dance band resound once again in “The Great Hall.”

But vegetarians beware: once the “plump pudding” is piped into the hall and the poem is read, the helpless “soucis” resting atop a silver tray and bedecked with oodles of parsley, is summarily skewered with a gigantic sword and then dished out to the audience during intermission.

“I love when Moab’s Ron Regher 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, Christopher Layer’s residency will include coaching at the Moab Community Dance Band rehearsal at 7 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 6 at the Moab Arts and Recreation Center.

Layer will also perform with The Happy Notes Band at the Grand Center from 11 a.m. to noon, Wednesday, Feb. 5.

Kate MacLeod will appear as a guest on “1-2-3” with host Christy Williams between 1 and 3 p.m., Friday, Feb. 7 on KZMU Community Radio.

Other Layer appearances include “My Life In Music” for the Green River Boys & Girls Club and Epicenter Arts & Cultural Experience, and a performance at the Canyonlands Care Center.

Moab Music Festival celebrates Robert Burns 

“Big Ron with the tray and little Flora with her big sword make quite a sight.”

When: 6 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 8

Where: Grand Center, 182 N. 500 West