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
'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
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
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 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
'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
'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 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
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
'Who Has Heard the Wind?' - Interactive Family Concert of Historic Wind Instruments History,
Music,
Science
This performance is the perfect complement to our storytelling performance 'THE BOY WHO WENT TO VISIT the NORTH WIND.' Our extensive early instrument collection features a joyous diversity of historic MEDIEVAL, RENAISSANCE, and TRADITIONAL FOLK INSTRUMENTS. Playing upon the wind as our theme and setting, we often usher in our performance journey with an early music mini-concert , specially highlighting our collection of early wind instruments of all shapes, sizes, and sounds. The audience is treated to consorts of recorders, of curious crumhorns, historical bagpipes both loud and soft, and a mysteriously ancient gemshorn. As you enjoy this exploration of historic instruments, 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. These two complementary programs unite to appeal to all the senses, a memorable and meaningful feast for the eyes, ears, and imagination! For EARTHDAY and ENVIRONMENTAL AWARENESS EVENTS, the artists can also explore mankind’s long partnership with the wind as energy, and how cultures around the world have shaped, utilized, and interacted with wind’s many powers and wonders. Windmills, kites, sailboats, seeds… wind contributes significantly to our lives, pleasures, & history.
$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
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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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