Auld Lang Syne Especially Significant to Burns Dinner
Scottish Poet Robert Burns' traditional parting song "Auld Lang Syne" this year adds significance to the Alma College celebration of the birth of the famous bard.
The song's theme of passing time and remembered friendship, illustrates the College's efforts to expand the annual remembrance to include honoring Alma's Scottish roots. Community members join together Saturday, Jan. 22 in the Tyler-Van Dusen Campus Center for a festive evening of Scottish entertainment loosely based around a traditional Burns Dinner.
Following the retirement of Alma English Professor Gene Pattison, a noted Burns scholar, and lagging attendance, event planners decided to add Scottish entertainment and adjusted the menu. The reading of Burns' poetry and toasts to the Haggis and the Lads and Lassies are still featured, but the Scottish arts and traditions take center stage.
Highland Festival attendees who have ate the bridies and meat pies will enjoy the new menu. Cock-a-leekie soup, Scotch Eggs, Skye Prawns and Bubbly Jock with turkey gravy precede butterscotch meringue pie and assorted Scottish pastries.
Chuck and Cindy Moerdyk are featured guests for their work with the Highland Festival and Chuck's service to the Burns' Dinner as Master of Ceremonies. Jack Crombie, a Scotsman living in Chicago, assumes emcee duties this year to speak on Scottish tradition and read Burns' poetry.
Crombie has been heavily involved in Chicago's Scottish Society and has traditionally emceed that city's Burns Dinner. His daughter travels from Chicago to Alma twice a month to study with Highland Dance Instructor Christie Freestone. During the celebration, Freestone narrates the history of traditional dances while her student dancers perform.
College Piper Eli Woolcott, a first year student from Elk Rapids, performs a short bagpipe solo and ends the evening with "Auld Lang Syne." Alma Middle School Music Teacher Patrick DeWitt and his Celtic band Hurry The Jug perform tunes suitable for dancing.
Former Alma resident Michael Cameron, the chief knife wielder who stabbed the Haggis, returns from Gaylord for a command performance of "Ode to the Haggis." No one is required to eat the Haggis.
Festivities begin in the Campus Center Rotunda with a reception at 5:45 p.m. featuring Tony Patterson, College artist in residence, on the piano, Woolcott on pipes and Alma Choir singers. Various festivities and dinner begin at 6:30 p.m.
Tickets for the event are $14 per person. For reservations and information contact the Alma College Alumni and Community Relations Office at (989) 463-7245 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Posted: Wed, January 5th, 2005 at 4:51PM