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The Celtic Consort Presents:
Medieval Muse & Minstrelsy

Where Medieval and Traditional Folk Meet

by Sondra and John Bromka

"The 'passion' of Music History 'beats on' with the talents of 'Bells and Motley'......
Sondra and John Bromka are undoubtedly Central NY's finest Performing Historians!
Thank you for another great Concert."
    - Frank Caputo, commenting on Bells & Motley's
    "Eve of St. Patrick Day" Performance at Le Moyne College, Syracuse



Sondra & John Bromka, LeMoyne College all photos Larry Hoyt

Exploring the musical arts of Gaelic kings and commoners with Celtic harp, hurdy-gurdy, bagpipes, voices, and much more.

"Bells & Motley Celtic Consort offers a special concert of early and medieval Gaelic and Celtic music. Ireland has always been the land of poets and fervid musical participations, especially in those mythic days of the early middle ages. How did all this music and poetry come to be? And how does it relate to other medieval musical and poetic traditions? Some ideas we'll explore.... Connections between Minstrels, Bards, Troubadours, and Trouvères-- Is it something about have-harp-will-travel? Or something about bearers of traditions, holding vast memories of an epic past? Or wishful initiates seeking intimacy with the Muse, and her ability to transport them to another place, time, or way of being? Our plan is to draw together these lines of inquiry through myth and manuscript, fact, fiction, and musical storytelling. The concert will span 500 years of early music history and traditions, including a setting by Mr Bromka of that famous Scottish balled of poetic initiation, “Thomas Rhymer and the Queen of Elfland.” “And see ye not that bonny road/ That winds about the fernie brae? That is the road… Where you and I this night maun go.”


More about this concert:

One of the important powers of music is to spark the imagination....perchance, to bring about new works. Our concert provides a meaningful and memorable way to connect medieval music, literature, and languages, and even spark the font of imagination, our Muse?
Instruments range from loud to soft, droning and pointed, wind and string. Made of wood, bone, earth, horn, metal, skin, each will find a different place to resonate!


For a variety of venues and celebrations:
  • Concerts for the Public, wherever an evocative Celtic Concert is called for
  • High Schools and Colleges, as a humanities enrichment combining medieval and traditional music with early literary themes, symbolism, balladry, and other oral literature
  • Matching grants are available to help support our programs, and we are available to partner with schools in writing applications.
  • Commissions for new concerts and pageants are encouraged and welcomed! Please inquire.
    Examples: Landmark historic celebrations; Village Bicentennials and Anniversaries; Art Exhibits


Links to Other Bells & Motley Medieval - Celtic Performances:

Sondra on drum

Singing Sumer is Icumen In, John playing cittern (which he designed and made)

John on "Veuze," Breton Bagpipes