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 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
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
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 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
'Wassail' Renaissance Christmas Pageant & Music Revels Music,
Performing Arts- Storytelling,
Performing Arts- Theater
'Sing, Say, and Play!' in this participatory Christmas music and pageant performance that toasts the old year and welcomes in the new. Set in the Magical Days of Yore, it is fanciful weaving of historic music, traditions, and surprises. 'Wassail' comes from the Old English greeting Wes hael, meaning 'Be thou hail!' and wassailers even today go about England carolling friends & neighbors in this traditional musical well-wishing. To highlight the event, the audience takes on roles in a traditional mummers’ play - a lighthearted spectacle of singing, costumes and laughter. Mummers' plays are still performed in rural England as improvisatory theater in streets, homes, and community gatherings, and feature a host of characters who symbolically assist the sun in its turning through the shortest days of the year. The culminating event of the play is the grand Wassail Bowl, around which all gather to wish a fine Yuletide Season! Come One and All, Young and Old, Shy and Bold, and let thy fancies run free (and be sure to bring your cameras!)
$351- $500
DIG THAT CANAL! ‘15 Miles on the Erie Canal' Family Fun Musical Storytelling; With FREE companion options - Folk Instruments of Along the Canal; Introduction to Theatercraft History,
Music,
Performing Arts- Storytelling
'15 Miles on the Erie Canal' is a colorful and very participatory historic musical storytelling event for the whole family. Enjoy this lively collage of Tall Tales, Costumes, Music and Sing-along Songs as the artists share an unforgettable story of New York’s famous waterway. Presented in 19th century 'folk opera' performance style, it sparkles with canal-era music from cultures along the canal, performed on a rare collection of historic instruments including hammer dulcimer, banjo, fiddle, hurdy gurdy, early squeezeboxes, canal horn, and more. Our story unfolds as Captain Simon Slick and Irish cook Sallie Waters meet up with Sal, a truly amazing mule who makes quite a splash (and also happens to be guest from the audience!). Together they set off on a rollicking journey down The Grand E-ri-e Canal, 8th Wonder of the World! Great characters, great stories, and an unforgettable historic enrichment experience for Summer Reading Programs! NOTE: For a gala event, our “15 Miles” performance may be expanded with your choice of NYS Canal Cultural Heritage workshop activities: expanded singing roles for a children’s/family chorus; lively canal-era children's dances; and even student-written Tall Tale vignettes for the Grand Finale. Custom-designed programs, special events welcome.
$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
Bells & Motley Victorian Musical Celebration of Christmas Past History,
Music,
Performing Arts- Storytelling
Music and customs of a traditional Christmas of Dickens' time included jovial and ceremonial songs with choruses for all to share, ballads steeped history, costumed characters or 'guisers,' tableaux and games, dances, and the presence of holly, ivy, and evergreen. This musical voyage back to the spirit of Christmas Past offers a magical time for family and friends to gather and share the origins of our traditions. Across England, wealthy households would celebrate with great musical feasts and pageants, and folks would go from door to door, singing wassailing songs that ended with the request for 'a toast and a good loaf or cheese, and we’ll be on our way.' Featured will be wassail songs from Cornwall, Somerset, and Gloucestershire. Other traditions will include a special processional bagpipe air from Northumberland to 'pipe your bounds' to insure abundance and well being throughout the new year. This peek behind the history of Christmas celebration uncovers the universal within the season's mirth and merriment, and plants the seeds of ideas for reestablishing some of the old traditional elements for community celebrations - further enriching the meaning and majesty of this important holiday season.
$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
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
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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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