Performers and Programs

Performer Information  
Stage name: Bells & Motley Olden Music, Dance, and Storytelling
Performer name: Sondra & John Bromka
Phone: 315-673-2995
Mailing address: 36 South Street
Marcellus, NY 13108
E-mail address: sbromka@earthlink.net
Website: http://www.bellsandmotley.com
Previous appearances at: 1) 35 Years at Sterling Renaissance Festival - presenting Concerts, Musical Theater, Storytelling, Historic Dance Instruction, 2) NYS Heritage and Canal Fest Events for Communities, Libraries, Schools across NYS, 3) School & Community residencies and pageants across NYS, Northeast, and Europe, 4) Historic Site thematic specialty programs for Lorenzo, Crailo, French Azilum, Sackets Harbor, Olana, many more; also France, Germany, & Belgium, 5) Libraries across all areas of NYS, and locally in Marcellus, Onondaga Hill; see our website for complete lists
Contact information for New York State Public Libraries
Information last updated: 06/07/2016

Records  1-10 of 27   Next >
Program
Category
Description
Fee
A Celtic Mid-Winter Revel: Music for the 12 Days of Christmas Multicultural- Other,
Music,
Performing Arts- Storytelling
Celtic Christmas and Mid-Winter celebrations through the centuries were a twelve-day flurry of spirited songs, mythical airs, quaint traditions, and mirthful customs and stories. The duo of John and Sondra Bromka offer an evocative and festive collection of seasonal music on their diverse array of Celtic instruments including harp, hammered dulcimer, 2 kinds of historic bagpipes, button accordeon, Irish cittern, bodhran, and guitar.
$351- $500
Merry Old English Music & Dances To Welcome in the Spring Multicultural- Other,
Music,
Performing Arts- Dance
Participatory songs, dances, and magical traditions of Merrie Olde England that help celebrate the arrival of this loveliest season of the year. Seasonal concert/workshop combination. By request, program can be expanded to include traditional maypole dancing (see below)
$351- $500
Of Bards, Bagpipes, & Rhymers: Historic Music Rare and Rustic History,
Music,
Performing Arts- Other
A salmagundi of period instruments & styles combine for a delightfully unusual concert. In their crossover program 'Bards, Bagpipes, & Rhymers,' musicians Sondra & John Bromka begin by unravelling threads of evocative Medieval music... then weave in and out of it rustic folk traditions, still heard even today in the remote corners of France, Germany, and the British Isles. Side by side, these sounds enrich each other to paint vivid living pictures that evoke the boisterous village festivals, the soulful shepherds’ plaints, and the rich, mystical ballads that connected people of all levels of society. Bells & Motley are known for their uncommon instrumentation, and perform on a diverse collection of historic and folk instruments. For this presentation you’ll hear harp, hurdy gurdy, lute, Medieval fiddle, recorders, crumhorns, various French & English bagpipes, and more. The hurdy gurdy, built by Mr. Bromka, is a sort of Medieval keyboard fiddle enhanced with a resonant drone. Join Sondra & John in their Allegorical musical Garden, rich & resounding for all senses.
$351- $500
Timeless Tunes, Timeless Tales, and Musical Secrets of Long Ago and Far Away Multicultural- Other,
Music,
Performing Arts- Storytelling
Discover the stories and secrets behind some of the most rare, mysterious, and magical musical instruments of history. How were they invented? How do they work? Hear the tales that are told about the person who was said to be the first player of the bagpipes in ancient Rome. Discover the secret behind stories that claim that fiddles actually have magical powers. What is the tallest stringed instruments ever invented? Are there actually wind instruments that you don't blow into? Can a harp ever play itself? What happens when you touch it? Children will be invited to try the harp and find out for themselves! Bells & Motley have discovered that young children (as well as adults) are enthralled by the unusual sounds and stories behind their unique collection of historic instruments, including rommelpot, hurdy gurdy, early bagpipes, harp, hand-made fiddles, and tromba marina. Audiences are especially excited to hear that the Bromkas, in addition to being musicians, historians, and veteran storytellers, are also expert instrument builders. An unforgettable interactive enrichment experience.
$351- $500
THE ART of the BALLAD: Oral Literature, Musical Poetry, Mystery and Legend History,
Literature- Other,
Music
The ballad was a powerful and mystical form of early literature that was enriched and carried through time by the elements of rhyme, rhythm, and music. This collection of compelling short musical tales represents different cultures, and is presented in original form - as songs rich in symbolism, surprising storylines, archetypal characters, and the familiar motifs they share with their close cousins, folk and fairy tales. This intriguing program features early music and instruments from the times of Beowulf to Shakespeare, including medieval bray harp, hurdy gurdy, recorders and other historic instruments. Adaptable for different ages and seasons.
$351- $500
'The Boy Who Went to Visit the North Wind' Participatory Storytelling + 'Who Has Heard the Wind' Children's Concert History,
Music,
Performing Arts- Storytelling
Sondra and John Bromka bring audiences on a wind-swept journey to 'long ago and far away' with the telling of this fine traditional tale. Look forward to an energetic tandem storytelling performance that is underscored with live music on Celtic harp, enriched with historic authenticity, and alive with abundant participation that is well suited to audiences of all ages. A tale of wonder, magic, and heroism, the story unfolds when a poor boy's meal is unwittingly blown away, taken to the four corners of the earth by the all-powerful North Wind, and cannot be returned. In exchange, a magic tablecloth, magic donkey, and magic stick are three marvelous gifts offered by the Wind. But in the end, the most important gift of all is surely the North Wind's sage advice: 'All you have to do is keep your eyes & ears open.' As in the best of traditional folktales, there is the timeless appeal of a thought provoking theme. Here, justice & fairness are of universal concern to young children. And they will enjoy their favorite storytelling elements: patterns and repetition, personification, and especially, the wondrous and curious ways of 'long ago & far away.'
$351- $500
Christmas Musical Folk Traditions Around the World & Across Time History,
Multicultural- Other,
Performing Arts- Dance
The evocative sounds of the arraye of rare historic and folk musical instruments will lead you into the nooks and crannies of France, Spain, Germany, Italy, and the British Isles in a celebration of Christmas traditions in many lands. From festive tunes for dance and procession, to evocative ballads and songs for chorusing - this rich and festive holiday musical program features seasonal aires, songs, and traditions. Instruments include the hurdy gurdy, French and Northumbrian bagpipes, Celtic harp, Swedish nykleharpa, Irish pennywhistle, and much more.
$351- $500
Erie Canal Tall Tale Writing Residency and Performance Event History,
Literature- Other,
Performing Arts- Storytelling
Workshop participants will learn about the tradition of the 'Tall Tale,' and then work together to create their own original tale. This program draws upon the Erie Canal for theme and inspiration, and includes songs and dances that reflect our multicultural heritage. We conclude with a joint artist/student performance for the community, wherein participants perform their tale, songs, and dances as an integral part of the artists’ musical theatre performance piece '15 Years on the Erie Canal.' (see related program listings.) The finale performance will be geared towards family audiences, and includes participation for all who attend. It will feature music on the artists’ unusual collection of authentic historical instruments, including squeezeboxes, hurdy gurdy, hammered dulcimer, and more. All participating children will gain hands-on experience in a range of artistic disciplines, including writing, poetry, dance, music, and storytelling/theatre. Children will be exposed to actual Tall Tales of the Erie Canal Era; they will learn factual information about our county’s famous canal; about the era’s multicultural heritage.
$501- $1000
'One World, Many Instruments' Concert Show & Tell for Children, Families Multicultural- Other,
Music,
Science
Created of wood, bone, skin, metals, and earth, it is an amazing thing to behold the many ways people around this globe have used nature’s materials to bring forth music! The Bromkas have a long history of first-hand explorations and experimentations with world music in its many forms. Their extensive travels have lead them to play a variety of truly exotic instruments, from a great many different countries and cultures. Audiences love their hurdy gurdy, hammered dulcimer, the wide variety of bagpipes, mandolins, cittern, and Celtic harps. This musical journey travels to the far reaches of Asia, to include the magical Chinese Harp called “guzheng” and “erhu” fiddle, Turkish oud & baglama, Mideastern zither “kanun,”and a raft of percussion and other rare instruments! Hear stories for each of their instruments and musical selections, be it travels in Europe and Asia, gifts from mysterious strangers, or the instruments built in the Bromkas' own studios. This multicultural musical journey is a fascinating, fun learning experience for folks of all ages.
$351- $500
'Who Has Heard the Wind?' - Interactive Family Concert of Historic Wind Instruments History,
Music,
Science
This performance is the perfect complement to our storytelling performance 'THE BOY WHO WENT TO VISIT the NORTH WIND.' Our extensive early instrument collection features a joyous diversity of historic MEDIEVAL, RENAISSANCE, and TRADITIONAL FOLK INSTRUMENTS. Playing upon the wind as our theme and setting, we often usher in our performance journey with an early music mini-concert , specially highlighting our collection of early wind instruments of all shapes, sizes, and sounds. The audience is treated to consorts of recorders, of curious crumhorns, historical bagpipes both loud and soft, and a mysteriously ancient gemshorn. As you enjoy this exploration of historic instruments, marvel at the wonderful ways human kind has used wood, animal horn, reed, leather, and ingenuity to invent instruments that create a rainbow of musical sounds. These two complementary programs unite to appeal to all the senses, a memorable and meaningful feast for the eyes, ears, and imagination! For EARTHDAY and ENVIRONMENTAL AWARENESS EVENTS, the artists can also explore mankind’s long partnership with the wind as energy, and how cultures around the world have shaped, utilized, and interacted with wind’s many powers and wonders. Windmills, kites, sailboats, seeds… wind contributes significantly to our lives, pleasures, & history.
$351- $500
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* Inclusion in this database does not indicate endorsement of any performer or program by the NYS Education Department, the Office of Cultural Education, the NYS Library or the participating library systems, nor does it eliminate the need for reference checks and appropriate standard screening procedures.

 

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