Michael and Ken can be seen in the top left corner.

Peter und Paul Festival in Bretten, Germany 2014


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It’s that time of year again for the Peter und Paul Festival in Bretten, Germany. I am very excited to make my voyage and engage in all of the fun activities and musical events!  This year the festivities begin on July 4th and I will be staying in Germany after the festival’s end to enjoy the beauty of the country and enjoy time with my German friends. Every year, after the festival ends, I perform a concert to help raise funds for different charities, as well as, other performances in the area.

Peter und Paul Fest 300x225 Peter und Paul Festival in Bretten, Germany 2014

Peter und Paul Festival takes place in this small beautiful town in Germany each summer. This long-standing cultural tradition has been in place for over 500 years and I have had the pleasure of attending and performing in this medieval fair for a little over a decade. This centuries-long tradition of celebrating the town’s heritage and culture begins with the earliest of the events dating back to 1504 when the town of Bretten was successfully defended. There are an array of cultural activities in which to engage including medieval dancing instructions, and the traditional “Shepard’s Jump. Our musical group performs mostly renaissance music played and fills the air as people of all ages explore and enjoy the sights of the rich German history coming to life. 

You can view the official website for Peter und Paul Fest HERE

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I am always excited for the annual Peter und Paul Festival in Bretten, Germany. This cultural experience is one to be shared and is meant for all ages. The men, women and children alike will be preparing all year long and anticipating its arrival next year… and you know I will be there!

Here’s more information about the festival:

Das Peter-und-Paul-Fest: Eine Stadt lebt ihre Geschichte

Am Wochenende nach dem kirchlichen Peter-und-Paul-Tag wird das Peter-und-Paul-Fest in Bretten gefeiert. Auf den Straßen und Gassen der Altstadt und beim historischen Festzug am Sonntag kann man das mittelalterliche Leben und Treiben miterleben.

Die drei Wurzeln dieses großartigen Abbildes der Geschichte der Stadt Bretten sind, aus dem 15. Jahrhundert, der “Schäfersprung”, der früher am 10. August, dem Tag des Laurentius, die Schäfer aus dem weiten Umland zum Wettkampf und zum gemeinsamen Feiern versammelte. Dann das “Freischießen” – die wehrhaften Bürger übten sich im Zielschießen und feierten den treffsicheren Schützenkönig. Schließlich wird der erfolgreiche Ausfall von 1504 am Vorabend vor Peter und Paul gefeiert. Philipp Schwarzerdt, der spätere Phlipp Melanchthon, hat siebenjährig die Belagerung miterlebt.

Wer die historische Aussage des Peter-und-Paul-Festes, im geschichtlichen Gewand des Markplatzes, auf den Straßen und Gassen der Altstadt mit dem mittelalterlichen Leben und Treiben, die geschichtsgetreuen Abbilder der verschiedensten Gruppen beim historischen Festzug erlebt, der fühlt sich ins Mittelalter zurückversetzt.

Die Vereinigung Alt-Brettheim e.V. hat das Fest nach dem zweiten Weltkrieg in seinen historischen Bezügen und Verankerungen wieder aufleben lassen. Die kreativen, selbständig arbeitenden Gruppen, viele, viele geschichtsbewußte Bürgerinnen und Bürger lassen jedes Jahr eine unverwechselbare Atmosphäre entstehen und begeistern viele tausend Besucher, wecken Festesfreude und lassen erleben, was weltoffener Bürgersinn vermag, wenn “eine Stadt ihre Geschichte lebt.”

 German excerpt source: http://www.bretten.de/cms/node/201



Take care, 
 spirit of ireland michael ryan solo again 768x1024 Peter und Paul Festival in Bretten, Germany 2014
Spirit of Ireland 2012-Michael Ryan with Craic Haus-the band-solo again

Helping Women to Find Their Own Voice



In honor of the fundraising concert this Saturday, we have found a TED talk about empowering women to find their own voice and end their abuse. The talk was given by Esta Soler in December 2013 at the TED WOMEN Expo, in San Francisco, California. The event hosted many speakers who told of inventions, life experiences, and innovative ideas for peace.  The very caring and selfless pioneer, Esta Soler, began her work in the 1980′s, giving victims of domestic violence a very important picture of their bruises to document the necessary evidence for a second chance at a peaceful life.

In 1994, she had a hand in passing the Violence Against Women Act which helped to change the views toward domestic abuse and the penalties for sexual offenders and abusers of women. The Violence Against Women Act was amended and reauthorized in 2013. You can CLICK HERE to read more about the history and legislation of the Violence Against Women Act.

The TED WOMEN Expo can be viewed HERE. And the talk by Esta Soler can be found HERE.

Esta Soler and her relentless effort to bring the unspeakable to the forefront has aided in making an incredible difference for women and children throughout the entire country. She is still pushing forward and continuing to incite positive change and inspiring others to become involved in helping women and children to heal and to see economic empowerment. 

The House of Ruth Fundraising Concert, “Songs from the Heart”, will take place at the University of La Verne. You can click here to RSVP and purchase your tickets.


Take Care,  

spirit of ireland michael ryan solo again 768x1024 Helping Women to Find Their Own Voice











Spirit of Ireland 2012-Michael Ryan with Craic Haus-the band-solo again

Michael Ryan and Friends Host Fundraiser in Honor of House of Ruth


Every person deserves to live a life free from violence. Home is the place we think of as our sanctuary, free from the worries and dangers of the world. Imagine not feeling safe in your own home. Imagine fearing abuse from those living in your home. Where is shelter when someone does not feel safe and protected? How does someone who has been abused and victimized learn to rebuild their life and the lives of their children?


Living in an abusive home does not allow for love, creativity, or growth because the priority is keeping yourself and your children safe from harm. House of Ruth is a safe haven for those who have been victimized by domestic violence and affords them a sanctuary where they can build a new life free from abuse and fear.


The first step in freedom from abuse is safety. The first stop for those seeking help at House of Ruth is the Emergency Shelter.  Here the staff provides safety, comfort, understanding and advocacy. But House of Ruth does not stop at providing safety. Other services offered include Transitional Living, Children’s Programs, Counseling, Community Services, Prevention and Outreach.


When interviewed in “Community Cares,” House of Ruth’s Director of Development, Pat Bell, describes the basics of this extraordinary organization: 

“House of Ruth is a domestic violence agency that serves San Bernadino County and Los Angeles County. We’ve been in place for about 35 years and we provide a broad range of services that assist people that have experienced domestic violence within their household and we help them on their journey to escape and healing.” 

Pat then goes on to describe how a situation of domestic violence can occur and worsen and how victims of abuse struggle to get help. More of this interview can be heard on the House of Ruth main website.


Since its humble beginnings 36 years ago as a 24-hour hotline which operated around a kitchen table of a female Claremont Graduate University student, House of Ruth’s mission has been to advocate for and assist women victimized by domestic violence and children exposed to violence in transforming their lives by providing culturally competent shelter, programs, opportunities and education. In the past year, House of Ruth served a total of 25,765 people through various programs and services which include, but are not limited to, an Emergency Shelter and Transitional Shelter, a Child Abuse Treatment Program, and a 24-hour Emergency Hotline, and prevention and community education.


We are proud to perform a fundraising concert aptly named “Songs From the Heart,” which will take place on Saturday, June 7th at University of La Verne. The evening will include the concert promoting songs of strength, love and courage followed by a champagne reception where you will be able to meet the members of Michael Ryan and Friends, as well as staff and board members of House of Ruth. We encourage your attendance to this empowering event to help raise money and make more resources available to the families who need them most. 


Click hereto RSVP and purchase your tickets.


Take Care,  

 spirit of ireland michael ryan solo again 225x300 Michael Ryan and Friends Host Fundraiser in Honor of House of Ruth


Michael Ryan

“Songs from the Heart”


 “Songs from the Heart”


Michael Ryan & Friends

“Songs from the Heart”

Concert & Reception


julian johnson,  ken söderlund,  hai muradian
michael ryan,  martie echito,  danny oberbeck,  dylan oberbeck

Dedicated to the House of Ruth

Assistance for women, children and families with limited resources and
great need to heal from traumatic abuse. 


Saturday, June 7th at 7:30 pm

University of La Verne, Morgan Auditorium

1950 3rd St., La Verne

Ticket Price
$25 (concert only)
$50 (concert & reception)


For Tickets:
Call House of Ruth at (909) 623-4364, Ext. 6054
Purchase Your Ticket Online Now

Chichen Itza Equinox Serpent

Spring is Here!


Spring is here and we are excited to welcome the warm weather and all the fun that comes along with it! Historically, Spring has been celebrated during the vernal equinox for it’s fertility and rebirth; which is why the bunny became the commercial symbol of Easter. It is the season of Spring Break from schools and the start of concert and festival season. 

In Mexico, there are several celebrations surrounding the Spring Equinox. The actual day of equinox usually occurs between March 19-21, with Easter occurring on the first Sunday after the Full moon following the equinox; this year Easter falls on April 20! The children of Mexico participate in a spring parade and even dress as animals and flowers. An interesting spectacle is the casting of a shadow which appears as a snake on the steps of the Kulkulkan Temple. The shadow snake can be seen slithering for about an hour a day during the days around the equinox. 

(source: http://gomexico.about.com/od/festivalsholidays/qt/equinox.htm)

ChichenItzaEquinox 1024x768 Spring is Here!(Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kukulkan)

Thailand has a fun and engaging Buddhist celebration shortly after the equinox for the Thai New Year which involves a lot of water! Family, friends and strangers all gather together on a Sunday to splash each other with water in the Songkran Water Festival to cleanse each other of bad luck from the previous year.

(source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/newsround/26951235)

The White House is hosting its 136th annual Easter Egg Roll on April 21, 2014. It is open to 30,000 guests and will involve several sport-related activities as well as reading and cooking stations. The theme this year is “Hop into Healthy, Swing into Shape” which is part of the First Lady’s Let’s Move! initiative. A poster competition accepting submissions with this slogan from elementary and middle schools will result in the First Lady’s choice being displayed during the event. The Easter Egg Roll will also have collector’s eggs available with one special addition illustrated with the dogs of the White House. 

eggs 0 Spring is Here!

(source: http://www.whitehouse.gov/eastereggroll)

There are non-religious festivals and celebrations taking place in the United States as well! The series of Carnegie Hall concerts entitled Spring for Music 2014 has a special deal now available online! The concerts begin in May and the ticket prices are discounted when one purchases tickets to all six concerts. If you are independently wealthy and have the free time to travel around the country to listen to beautiful music, you can click here to visit the site!!!


I hope that you all enjoy your Spring time celebrations!

Take Care, 

 spirit of ireland michael ryan solo again 225x300 Spring is Here!


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