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 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
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
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
'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
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
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
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
MUSIC ALONG THE ERIE CANAL - New York State Heritage Songs and Instruments along the Waterway History,
Multicultural- Other,
Music
Sondra and John Bromka use their beguiling antique instrument collection to bring a lively taste of New York State's cultural character along our famous water way during the 1800s. This is a up-close, interactive concert that includes aires, dance tunes, and singalongs from a variety of immigrant traditions, accompanied by Irish harp, bagpipes, pennywhistle, French hurdy gurdy, German hackbrett (hammered dulcimer), African-American banjo, and English squeezeboxes... our music offers the special flavor of each culture's unique contributions.
$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
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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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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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