Madison Area Concert Handbells rings in 25 years of unique music next weekend

Madison Area Concert Handbell members shared it’s the group’s dedication to improving that has kept up their prestige for so long.
Published: Dec. 3, 2022 at 9:36 PM CST
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - Ahead of their 25th Christmas Concert, Madison Area Concert Handbell members shared it’s the group’s dedication to improving that has kept up their prestige for so long.

Madison Area Concert Handbells, or MACH for short, Music Director Nicholas Bonaccio said the art of handbell performance is growing in popularity along with its intensity.

”Composers are writing more and more difficult music and the envelope keeps being pushed with regard to the difficulty of the music and our ringers are happy to rise to the occasion,” Bonaccio said.

He said MACH stands out among similar performance groups throughout the entire state.

”Here at MACH we have seven octaves of handbells which is the largest collection in the state of Wisconsin,” Bonaccio said.

The unique opportunity and sometimes difficult song choices are what inspired ringer Kristi Menninga to join the group when it started in 1997.

”I’ve continued to be challenged by this group. My skills have improved and it’s a lot of fun getting to play with so many talented musicians and I’ve gained a lot of friends here,” Menninga said. ”It keeps us from getting bored. If we stayed and played the same bells for every piece we would get bored with it.”

MACH’s Silver Bells: A 25th Anniversary Christmas Concert runs from 7 to 9 p.m. at the following locations:

  • Friday: Good Shepherd Lutheran Church (7291 County Rd PD, Verona, WI 53593)
  • Saturday: Asbury United Methodist Church (6101 University Ave, Madison, WI 53705)

The concert runs from 3 to 5 p.m. at the following location:

  • Sunday: St. Stephen’s Lutheran Church (5700 Pheasant Hill Road, Monona, WI 53716)

Tickets cost $12 online or $15 at the door.

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