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
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 HURDY GURDY CHILDREN'S CONCERT History,
Music,
Performing Arts- Storytelling
The artists' extensive early instrument collection features a joyous diversity of historic Medieval, Renaissance, & traditional instruments. Playing upon the intriguing and rare historic hurdy gurdy to enrich our theme and setting, we are pleased to accompany our performance journey with an early music mini-concert specially designed for children, highlighting a diverse collection of early instruments of all shapes, sizes, and materials. Imaginations are courted with the mysterious and evocative sounds. As you enjoy this exploration of historic instruments from bagpipes to 'whittle and dub' you will marvel at the wonderful ways human kind has used wood, animal horn, reed, leather, and ingenuity to invent instruments that create a rainbow of musical sounds. This program is being packaged as a 2-for-1 with 'STONE SOUP WITH THE HURDY GURDY MAN' These two complementary programs unite perfectly to appeal to all the senses, a memorable and meaningful A treasure for the eyes, ears, and imagination!
$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
'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
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
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
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
'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
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
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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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