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 23   Next >
Program
Category
Description
Fee
'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 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
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
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
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
'STONE SOUP & the HURDY GURDY MAN' Participatory Musical Storytelling History,
Music,
Performing Arts- Storytelling
This favorite classic tale has been crafted to include lots of singing, movement, and active participation for every audience member, from the youngest, to the most old and wise. The story: When a very clever traveler meets a very stingy lady, an extraordinary soup is created from nothing more than the imaginative man’s ordinary stone, water, and his wits and imagination. Our version highlights this most valuable clue: There is great joy in sharing, and it is important to always “use your noodle,” and your imagination! Young children will love the inclusion of their favorite storytelling elements: singalongs, patterns, repetition, the wondrous ways of 'long ago & far away' and especially, their 'Fizz Boom Pop' Chorus! & 'THE HURDY GURDY CHILDREN'S CONCERT: OLDEN INSTRUMENTS THAT GO FIZZ, BOOM, and POP! Reading Program Special: 2 programs for 1 price: see separate entry For a truly unusual musical experience, songs are accompanied by a real live HURDY GURDY built by the artist. This unforgettable historic stringed instrument doubles as a magic pepper grinder in our telling! Look forward to an energetic, meaningful, & interactive tandem storytelling experience underscored with live music, resonant with historic authenticity, and alive with abundant participation.
$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
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 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
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
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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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