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
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
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
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
'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
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
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
'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
'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
Musical Traditions of Ireland & Other Celtic Lands History,
Music,
Performing Arts- Dance
The Bromkas have been performing concerts of traditional Celtic music as a duo for the past 25 years, gathering a rich and varied repertoire, and acquainting eager audiences with the traditions and mysteries found within that heritage. For the Celts, music and mythology are closely intertwined, with potent images evoked on the traditional instruments including fiddle, harp, hammered dulcimer, squeezeboxes, pennywhistle, bodhran (Irish frame drum.) Of special interest are John’s collection of different bagpipes, representing several Celtic traditions. To complement the Irish, the artists share favorite music within the Welsh, Manx, Breton, Scottish, and Galician Celtic traditions.
$351- $500
'The Tale of Yanek & Heliotrope' - A Medieval Music & Storytelling Journey History,
Music,
Performing Arts- Theater
Audiences are instantly engaged when a Medieval merchant's cart overflowing with mysterious and intriguing musical instruments arrives. Master Craftsman Yanek is en route to the greatest trading faire in all of France. His path crosses that of Lady Heliotrope, an exuberant troubaritz (female troubadour) in search of poetic inspiration. From here the fairytale spins as their tales entwine in this authentic period storytelling production that will absolutely delight audiences of all ages. Sondra and John Bromka infuse the performance with historic music on a great variety of unusual medieval instruments-many actually built by John, an accomplished luthier in real life. An authentic and appealing program!
$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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