Letters From Presenters

Letter from Bert Goldstein, Director, MSU Federal Credit Union Institute for Arts & Creativity at the Wharton Center for Performing Arts, written after Cathie did a week long educational outreach residency in East Lansing. She also gave the Kennedy Center Arts in Education key-note speech advocating for the arts in education.

Director, MSU Federal Credit Union Institute for Arts & Creativity
Wharton Center for Performing Arts
Michigan State Univ.

December 8, 2011


Thanks again for a wonderful week. Your work was tremendous and you have left quite an impression. I thoroughly enjoyed having you here. You are awesome.

Have a great holiday season!


Cathie has performed three seasons for The Lincoln Center Institute for Arts in Education.

Peg Schuler-Armstrong
Production General Manager, Lincoln Center Institute
Lincoln Center
New York, NY

May 16, 2008

…Whether performing for Kindergarten and first-graders in our own black box theatre, or managing an audience of several hundred middle- or high-schoolers in a cafetorium with ease and grace, Cathie always managed to establish a rapport that carried through to the end of the program and into the question and answer session. Her audiences were consistently engaged, interested and involved throughout her performance. Some quick figures that might be of interest: in Cathie’s five weeks of performances with us she reached nearly 8,000 students in the New York metropolitan area. Her program, “From Shore to Shore: Irish American Music,” was one of our most popular and most requested. Of all the positive feedback we received from our school partners (and it was all positive), the most frequent comment was that their kids loved singing Irish with her!

“Irish American Music” was the second time we at Lincoln Center Institute have had the pleasure of presenting Cathie to our schools, and if we have anything to say about it, it will most definitely not be the last.

Best regards,
Peg Schuler-Armstrong

Cathie also teaches at music camps. She has been invited back to teach many times at Swannanoa Gathering’s Celtic Week as well as other excellent music and folk study camps.

Jim Magill
Director, The Swannanoa Gathering Folk Art Workshops
Warren Wilson College
Asheville, NC

March 4, 2004

I am writing to recommend to you in the highest possible terms the teaching abilities of Cathie Ryan.

The positive feedback on Cathie’s classes excerpted from our evaluation forms filled three pages! Here is a small sample:

— “Cathie was a delight, very patient, energetic and positive. She was also a great teacher, very organized and gave us plenty of homework to tide us over. Everything was planned well. She did a great job with the 40+ people in the class too.”

— “Cathie is a natural born teacher, and very sensitive. Great knowledge of the course material, and a childlike eagerness to share it with others. To balance her enthusiasm, she is also good at time management. She covered a lot of ground in five days, and covered it well.”

— “Cathie was down to earth, generous with her sharing of her singing, knowledgeable about the different areas of Ireland and how the songs change. In both classes she supported members’ ideas and comments and made herself accessible to us. A+!”

From my own experience on the administrative end of things I found Cathie to be utterly charming, thoroughly professional, and passionately dedicated to the promotion and preservation of her art.

Jim Magill

Seamus Connelly
Director, Music, Song and Dance
Irish Programs
Boston College
Boston, MA

The 2003 summer school was honored to have had the talents and services of Cathie Ryan both as a teacher and performer. Cathie demonstrated that she is a true professional and knowledgeable of different styles within the singing tradition. Not alone was she one of the most popular teachers at Gaelic Roots, student evaluations showed that she was enthusiastic and anxious to pass on the singing traditions of Ireland. A number of students wrote that Cathie made herself available during the week to spend time with them on a one-to-one basis. A true sign of a teacher who cares about their students.

It is our hope that Cathie will visit Boston College again to educate our own college students through lectures and performances.

As Director of Gaelic Roots I highly recommend Miss Ryan as a traditional singer, performer, and teacher.

Seamus Connelly