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

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Program
Category
Description
Fee
The Sounds of Nature's Music on World Instruments from Many Cultures Multicultural- Other,
Music,
Nature- Environment
Nature, Music, and Instruments Around the World and Across Time! Through time, the sounds of nature have inspired wonderful musical, poetic, and artistic dreams all around the world. From rushing waterfalls, to gentle drops of rain and melting icicles… to birdsong and crickets... to diverse sounds of the four seasons, Bells & Motley are excited to bring young audiences on a musical journey using a gamut of evocative instruments including harp and medieval fiddles, exotic zithers from Turkey and China, and many other rare exotic historical instruments, for a good measure of total surprise. A beautiful introduction to the evocative powers of music for audiences of all ages.
$351- $500
'BAWSHOU & the WATER DRAGON' A Traditional Chinese Storytelling Pageant Multicultural- Other,
Music,
Performing Arts- Storytelling
Perfect for A Universe of Stories Summer Reading Program Theme 2019. Dig deep into a cave of the earth--the Sun has been captured by a Fearsome Dragon and hidden away. The HERO of our tale is Bawshou, a young man who courageously rises to the challenge of freeing the Sun. With the help of a golden phoenix, a small parcel of earth, a magic robe, and a heroic dream, Bawshou travels afar to seek out and rescue the Sun, for the good of his people and all the land. Children actively participate as they portray the flowing river, the sounds of the sea, the playing of the gong, the dancing stars, and much much more! The artists evoke a magical atmosphere in this important Chinese tale, employing authentic oriental techniques and traditions including stylized dramatic forms and movement, mythology, exotic costumes, and unusual musical sounds. Chinese folk instruments (erhu, p’i p’a, guzheng harp, sona, Chinese Theatre drum, flutes & whistles, and gong) are featured, combining to make this unforgettable performance piece a joyous celebration of oriental culture. 'Bawshou' was commissioned by the Springfield MA Museum of Fine Arts in 1994. (see accompanying Chinese Dragon Mask Workshop/Parade).
$351- $500
The Tale of Tristan & Iseult: An Arthurian Legend Literature- Other,
Music,
Performing Arts- Storytelling
This most famous of all classic love stories was originally set in Celtic antiquity, and an important component of the Arthurian legends. In the 12th century, the tale was already 600 years old when it captured the imagination of Medieval France’s famous storyteller-poet-musicians, the troubadours. The powerful story continued its long journey through the ages... inspiring many works in turn, including Shakespeare (Romeo & Juliet). Bells & Motley present a telling that is authentic, yet lively, accessible, highly charged, and mysterious - full of all of the original symbolism, intrigue, and purpose. In ancient bardic style, it features a simple setting, rich language, and complex emotions evoked through the power of music. Rare historic instruments include the Medieval keyed fiddle, low-voiced recorders, ancient gut-strung bray harp, and Celtic harp. Musical selections include the same historic pieces that were part of Medieval tellings, as inspired by this enduring tale.
$351- $500
Historic Music and Dance Celebrations of Many Cultures History,
Music,
Performing Arts- Dance
Bells & Motley's International Instruments, with International Folk Dances for Families; Special topics include Celebrating NYS Heritage with Dutch Music and French Cultural Heritage Concerts, Performances, Celebrations See www.bellsandmotley.com website for detailed information, photos, and much more.
$351- $500
'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
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 ANT & THE GRASSHOPPER, AESOP'S FABLED FIDDLER' - Dreamers & Doers, It Takes Both! Music,
Performing Arts- Storytelling,
Performing Arts- Dance
Bells & Motley's musical storytelling performance is a Greek classic concerning the value of Dreaming, Digging In, and Doing! We all understand how our lives' pressing labors hang in a balance with the wonders of artistry and expression, through colors and sounds and dances. In our telling, we are confident that all will appreciate the carefully drawn moral concerning the value of both work & play. As we weave the tale through Ant and Grasshopper’s year in four episodes, each scene begins with the appropriate movement of Vivaldi's 'Four Seasons' evocatively performed by the artists on harp, nyckelharpa, tromba marina, and winds. The action and mystique of the tale are further highlighted by the audiences’ contributions on medieval fiddles (researched and built by the artists themselves), percussion, and dancing. At the end of our maiden performance of this show, a young fellow excitedly asked: 'Where will we all be performing this next?' Exploratory Expressions by audience+artists, before the performance: -The Grasshopper's Fiddling Troupe - The Ant's Percussion Troupe - The Butterfly Dancers And now, Dear Audience, Places!! Let the story begin as together we play and sing the 15th c. song of 'El Grillo' the Cricket!
$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
French Music, Instruments, & Dance Traditions of the Provinces Multicultural- Other,
Music,
Performing Arts- Dance
The Bromkas offer a memorable musical journey through the French Provinces! As traveling musicians who visit France each year to participate in regional music and dance festival, John and Sondra have a large repertoire of songs, instruments, and even lively circle and line dances that will be chosen to appeal to the age level and needs of your group. Rare and distinctive regional instruments in their collection include: Breton and Auvergnat bagpipes, hurdy gurdy, flutet et tambourin, more! There are also French songs especially for dancing. (Artists may present a concert of musical traditions, or a combination program of traditional dances, instruments, and songs. Other possibilities include participatory crepe-making activity, more!)
$351- $500
COLONIAL CONVIVIALITY: Music for George Washington and His Revolutionary Friends History,
Multicultural- Other,
Music
What was musical entertainment like in George Washington’s day? Ballroom jigs, minuets and cotillions, popular songs, meeting-house anthems, and harvest ballads and choruses meet together here in a lively and intruiguing program combining music and history. Introducing the pieces will be anecdotes about the roles of music and dance, and concerning Friends of the Revolution Lafayette, Jefferson, Franklin, and Washington. Sondra and John Bromka’s instrumentation for this program includes historic harp, hurdy gurdy, hammer dulcimer, French & English bagpipes, recorders, Baroque oboe, Spanish guitar, and cittern. The cittern, with 8 wire strings, was also known in Colonial America as the 'English guitar.'
$351- $500
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Records  11-20 of 23

* 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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The Performers and Programs website is supported by Federal LSTA funds, awarded to the NYS Library. The NYS Library is a program of the Office of Cultural Education, NYS Education Department.

 

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