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 20   Next >
Program
Category
Description
Fee
'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
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 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
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
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
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
Bells & Motley Community Revelry- Renaissance Faires, Harvest Festivals, Erie Canal Celebrations, More! History,
Performing Arts- Theater,
Visual Arts- Crafts
Topics include: -Community Heritage Bicentennial and Sesquicentennial Celebrations -Labyrinth Building -Musical Instrument Building -Christmas Pageants -Playwriting & Performance on Historic themes -Renaissance Faires & Festivals -and Much more! One-of-a-kind projects enthusiastically welcome! We often offer water-related themes. Got a River? Erie Canal?
$501- $1000
Erie Canal Tall Tale Writing Residency and Performance Event History,
Literature- Other,
Performing Arts- Storytelling
Workshop participants will learn about the tradition of the 'Tall Tale,' and then work together to create their own original tale. This program draws upon the Erie Canal for theme and inspiration, and includes songs and dances that reflect our multicultural heritage. We conclude with a joint artist/student performance for the community, wherein participants perform their tale, songs, and dances as an integral part of the artists’ musical theatre performance piece '15 Years on the Erie Canal.' (see related program listings.) The finale performance will be geared towards family audiences, and includes participation for all who attend. It will feature music on the artists’ unusual collection of authentic historical instruments, including squeezeboxes, hurdy gurdy, hammered dulcimer, and more. All participating children will gain hands-on experience in a range of artistic disciplines, including writing, poetry, dance, music, and storytelling/theatre. Children will be exposed to actual Tall Tales of the Erie Canal Era; they will learn factual information about our county’s famous canal; about the era’s multicultural heritage.
$501- $1000
Christmas Musical Folk Traditions Around the World & Across Time History,
Multicultural- Other,
Performing Arts- Dance
The evocative sounds of the arraye of rare historic and folk musical instruments will lead you into the nooks and crannies of France, Spain, Germany, Italy, and the British Isles in a celebration of Christmas traditions in many lands. From festive tunes for dance and procession, to evocative ballads and songs for chorusing - this rich and festive holiday musical program features seasonal aires, songs, and traditions. Instruments include the hurdy gurdy, French and Northumbrian bagpipes, Celtic harp, Swedish nykleharpa, Irish pennywhistle, and much more.
$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
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Records  1-10 of 20

* 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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