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BELLS & MOTLEY OLDEN MUSIC, DANCE, and STORYTELLING" are the husband and wife team of Sondra Bromka and John Bromka. They perform on a wide range of period instruments (many researched and reconstructed by the artists themselves!) Authentic music and a world of rare instruments are featured in the artistsí concerts, original theater works, folk operettas, music & dance workshops, and participatory musical storytelling performances for all ages.

CONCERT PRESS     The duo "BELLS & MOTLEY OLDEN MUSIC" is best known for the wonderful collection of historic and traditional instruments they have amassed, both from Early American and European musical traditions. All acoustic, instruments range from Medieval to Trad Folk to World Music. Here are just some of the instruments they enjoy playing at their concerts: two or three different types of bagpipes (both loud and soft), Celtic harp, Hurdy Gurdy, Swedish keyed fiddle "nyckelharpa," lute and recorders, guitar, fiddle, early versions of the mandolin, button accordion, and hammered dulcimer. And of course, their voices - Sondra and John love to sing!

Their range of musical styles is broad; here are some popular program themes:
- Songs from the American and British Isles Agricultural traditions, like John Barleycorn
- Dance tunes on button accordion and hurdy gurdy
- Our Northumbrian bagpipes + Celtic Harp repertoire
- Hammered dulcimer with Swedish nyckelharpa
- Lively songs, dance tunes, and traditional instruments from rural France (and also teaching some French and English dances to patrons in the festival streets, impromptu)

AS TEACHING ARTISTS, this multi-faceted duo has served the education field as both teaching artists and consultants in arts integration since 1981. Backgrounds include degrees in music and art education, a life-long interest in historic and traditional music and dance, and a wealth of rare resources and insights from international teaching residencies abroad, including France, Germany, Belgium, Turkey. In addition to assembly performances and workshops, the Bromkas collaborate with teachers to create arts-infused, curriculum-based residencies, designed especially in support of K-12 curriculum and learning standards

FAVORITE HISTORIC & CULTURAL THEMES in both public and school performances include: Medieval/ Renaissance/ Colonial/ Erie Canal Heritage/ Traditional French, Chinese, British, Celtic/ Science of Sound + World Instruments

1-PAGE BIOGRAPHY[click to open pdf]

The following photos of Bells & Motley Olden Music, Dance and Storytelling may be used for promotional purposes for their performances or workshops. Credit to Bells & Motley, unless otherwise noted.

Images are grouped according to program themes and venues.
Each photo is available as a 300 dpi JPG. Select a photo, click "press image" to open a high resolution photo in a new window. Right click on press photo, or press Command-S, and choose "Save Picture As."

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Left, a selection of historic instruments
from our Renaissance & Medieval collection:

starting in lower right-hand corner, ccw
SATB Crumhorns, Hurdy Gurdy, assorted whistles
(Catalan, Provencal, English), Lute, Breton French
bagpipe "veuze," Medieval frame drum, Celtic harp,
a rack of assorted historic reeds (SAT shawms,
Breton bombard), rebec (Medieval fiddle),
viol da gamba, gemshorn

For a close-up look at these and other very
rare instruments in our collection, visit our
"Bells & Motley Instrumentarium" webpage!

Authentic Music, Instruments, Dance Instruction, Storytelling

Bells & Motley's Renaissance Faire
"Instrumentarium" Stage
Their collection of period winds & strings
is a bonafide early instrument museum!
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Bells & Motley delight in teaching
a grand variety of lively period dances
to visitors of all ages each weekend at
Sterling Renaissance Faire!
[press image]

"Legend of Tristan & Iseult"
Sondra & John Bromka at Faire, telling they
acclaimed version of the Medieval Celtic tale,
accompanied by harp and nyckelharpa
[press image]

John Bromka stands
before a table displaying
historic stringed instruments
he has hand-crafted
[press image]


"15 Miles on the Erie Canal"
Original Folk Operetta
Sondra & John Bromka with
button accordion, banjo, & Sal!
[press image]

"Colonial Conviviality"
Sondra & John Bromka with
harp and nyckelharpa at
Senate House, Albany
[press image]

"Celtic Muse & Minstrelsy"
Sondra & John Bromka with
harp and lute
photo credit Peter Grabko
[press image]


Sondra & John Bromka with
hurdy gurdy and magic box
photo credit Cyndi Smith
[press image]

Sondra & John Bromka with
mandocello and tabor drum
Morgan Opera House
photo credit Cyndi Smith
[press image]

Sondra & John Bromka with
harp and hurdy gurdy,
1890 House, Cortland
photo credit Deanna Pace
[press image]

Sondra & John Bromka with
harp and Northumbrian bagpipes
Lorenzo State Historic Site
[press image]


Sondra & John Bromka explore historic wind
instruments in "Who Has Heard the Wind,"
followed by participatory musical storytelling
"The Boy Who Went to Visit the North Wind"

Sondra & John Bromka with Medieval Nyckelharpa, harp, and love potion
"The Medieval Celtic Legend of Tristan & Iseult" authentic historic storytelling for teens & adults


Sondra & John Bromka hear
the message of the golden
phoenix bird

Students made dragon masks,
and are ready to perform
their title role

[Bells & Motley Home Page] [About the Artists] [News + Calendar] [CDs, Books]
[ Instrumentarium Photos ] [E-Mail Us]

Bells & Motley Olden Music, Dance, and Storytelling
Sondra Bromka, John Bromka
Marcellus, NY 13108
Phone: (315) 673-2995
Email: info@bellsandmotley.com

This www.bellsandmotley.com web site and its content is the exclusive property of Sondra Bromka and John Bromka.
©2016 Sondra Bromka. All rights reserved in all media.