Director

Music Director and percussionist Nick Bonaccio joined the Madison Symphony Orchestra in September of 2015 at the age of 23, while pursuing a master’s degree at DePaul University in Chicago. He has performed with the Madison Opera, Milwaukee Symphony, Rockford Symphony, Vermont Symphony, Broadway Across America, and the Clocks in Motion percussion quartet. During his first season with the MSO, Nick was also an associate member of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago.

Nick is the Director of Handbell Ensembles at Bethany United Methodist Church in Madison, where he directs the talented ringers of the Bethany Carillons and Bethany Children’s Bells. In January of 2017, he was appointed Music Director of the Madison Area Concert Handbells, just in time to celebrate its 20th Anniversary season.

Passionate about vintage percussion instrument restoration, Nick has worked for two of the most well-known names in the industry, Fall Creek Marimbas and Century Mallet Instrument Service, where he helped bring antique mallet instruments from a state of disrepair to concert-hall quality for clients worldwide. Nick completely restored his personal 1920’s Deagan 870 xylophone from the golden age of vaudeville novelty music.

In addition to restoration projects, Nick produces a variety of percussion instruments and mallets of his own design used by musicians as far away as Amman, Jordan. His bronze symphonic triangles have been tested by members of the Cleveland Orchestra and Rochester Philharmonic; and are featured in Drew Worden’s triangle sextet “Escape.” As a composer, his piece Variations on a Balkan Rhythm has sold copies throughout the United States and Europe, and has been recorded by Chicago percussion soloist Peter Ferry.

Ringers

  • Wesley Swords
    Wesley Swords Ringer [2018]
    Wes began handbells at the age of eight playing in southern California. As a chemistry undergraduate at UCSD, he rang with the San Diego Harmony ringers. He jumped coasts for graduate school at UNC-Chapel Hill. When he wasn’t shooting lasers at molecules “for research” he rang for two church choirs and directed Youth bells. This year, Wesley received his Ph.D. in Chemistry and is a post-doctoral researcher at UW-Madison. He spends his free time gardening and designing hands-on science actives for schools and festivals.

  • Matthew Fabian
    Matthew Fabian Ringers [2018]

    Matthew started ringing when he was in middle school in Buffalo, NY.  He rang for four years at the University of Notre Dame, where he had opportunities to tour both the U.S. and abroad, including a concert on the Great Wall of China! After graduating in 2018, Matthew moved to Madison to work as a Software Developer at Epic and joined MACH soon after. Besides ringing handbells, he spends his free time camping, hiking, and cheering on the Buffalo Bills and Notre Dame Fighting Irish.

  • Hannah Rolfs
    Hannah Rolfs Ringer [2018]

    Hannah picked up her first bell a few years ago while attending St. Olaf College when looking to join a music group. It was love at first ring! She played for 3 years with the college, then after graduation moved to Madison with her husband Zach. She joined a community handbell group in Madison but was not able to devote as much time to ringing as she was working and going to graduate school. She recently graduated with a Masters in Social Work from UW-Madison and is a social worker for Dane County Child Protective Services.

  • Bethany Kokotajlo
    Bethany Kokotajlo Ringer [2018]

    Bethany joined the handbell choir at the University of Notre Dame on a whim. When she graduated four years later, she couldn’t believe there was ever a time when handbells hadn’t occupied most of her thoughts. After moving to Madison to work at Epic, she is excited to ring with both the MACH and Queen of Peace choirs, and to spend any time not ringing playing board games, rock climbing, and reading.

  • Alice Teter
    Alice Teter Ringer [1997] - Secretary

    Alice began ringing handbells in Nebraska in 1986.  Ten years later she moved from Lincoln to Madison to take a position at the Journal of Chemical Education, from which she is now retired.  Alice is one of the original members of MACH, and although her membership has been interrupted a few times for medical reasons, her enthusiasm has never wavered.

  • Debi Robey
    Debi Robey Ringer [2008]

    Debi has been ringing for nearly 35 years in both church and community groups in Pennsylvania, Illinois and Wisconsin. She has played at the White House, toured in England and Puerto Rico, and has attended bell festivals from Portland, Maine to Portland, Oregon. When not ringing, she enjoys gardening, doing puzzles, and operating the train and carousel at the Henry Vilas Children’s Zoo.

  • Caitlin Ristow
    Caitlin Ristow Ringer [2010]

    Caitlin first encountered handbells as a child and it was love at first ring. Over the years she’s played in church choirs, with her college’s choir, and most recently with MACH. In her spare time, she can be found “orphan ringing” at handbell festivals, practicing handbell solos for worship at area WELS churches, and hiking the Ice Age Trail.

  • Karen Paschke
    Karen Paschke Ringer [2002]

    Karen became fascinated with handbells at the age of three. The director even allowed her to ring one of the smallest bells after a performance. At ten she began to play in her church handbell choir under the same director, and continued until she went to the University of Illinois. She moved to Madison in 2001 and joined MACH in the spring of 2002. She now teaches mathematics at Madison East High School and travels in the summer.

  • Kristi Menninga
    Kristi Menninga Ringer [1997]

    Kristi has been ringing handbells for 22 years and is the only ringer who’s been with MACH the entire 20 years.  She is a Payroll Assistant for Epic and is married to fellow ringer, Alvin. Kristi enjoys counted cross-stitch, scrapbooking, reading, and traveling with her family.

  • Alvin Menninga
    Alvin Menninga Ringer [2016]

    Alvin has been ringing handbells at Asbury United Methodist Church for many years and with MACH since 2016. He is an IT Manager at Sentry Insurance, has three college-age sons and is married to fellow ringer, Kristi. In his spare time Alvin likes playing basketball, watching sports, and traveling with his family.

  • Kris Lee
    Kris Lee Ringers [2014] - Treasurer

    Kris first picked up a handbell as a freshman at St. Olaf College as a way of being involved in music without needing to sing or play an instrument. When not ringing, she works as a biostatistician for one of the research groups at UW-Madison looking at eye diseases. She has been involved with Girl Scouts throughout her life and enjoys reading mysteries and doing puzzles.

  • Diane Kohrs
    Diane Kohrs Ringer [1997, 2017] - Vice President

    Diane has been involved in music her whole life. She bluffed her way into her church handbell choir by pretending to already know how to play, and they let her stay. Eight years later she became one of the charter MACH members. Diane works at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church where she also directs a middle school band, plays in a worship band as well as orchestra, brass and anywhere else they’ll let her in.

  • Sara Junio
    Sara Junio Ringer [2010] - President

    Sara has been ringing with MACH since 2010 and ringing bells for well over 20 years. This year she left her employer after 28 years and started her consulting business, giving her the opportunity to travel to Morocco, Spain and France recently.  In the summer, she loves riding her Harley Davidson motorcycle around Wisconsin.

  • Jaime Henderson
    Jaime Henderson Ringer [2011]

    Jaime has played in handbell choirs in Texas and now in Madison for too long to track. In addition to being a hockey mom, Jaime works in training development at American Family Insurance. In her spare time, she enjoys camping, biking, and playing video games with her family.

  • Jackie Hansen
    Jackie Hansen Ringer [2003]

    Jackie began playing bells in junior high and has been ringing pretty consistently ever since. She joined MACH in Fall 2003 and now is scared to realize she is one of the “experienced” members of the group. She and her husband live in rural Marshall (and has the 2nd longest commute to rehearsal) where they are active in animal rescue. Jackie works as a manager at American Family Insurance and also enjoys camping, running with her dogs, and attending UW Volleyball games.

  • Ashley Crutcher
    Ashley Crutcher Ringer [2017]

    Ashley has always been musical, playing a variety of instruments. Her introduction to handbells was in high school when her school briefly added a choir to win more points in Solo & Ensemble. When not ringing, she’s at work as a UX Designer for InterVarsity, knitting with a cat on her lap, or hanging out with her husband and their two dogs.

  • Rachel Bain
    Rachel Bain Ringer [1999]

    Rachel has rung with MACH since 1999. She is the daughter of two musicians, so it is no surprise that she has music in her blood. She began playing handbells in grade school and has been ringing ever since. When she’s not behind a bell table, Rachel coordinates the instructional technology for the undergraduate program in the UW-Madison Department of Chemistry and plays trombone in the Verona Area Concert Band.

  • Cara Argus
    Cara Argus Ringer [2017]

    Cara has been making music as long as she can remember, and first rang a handbell around the age of 6. She currently works as a research specialist in DNA sequencing for the Thomson Lab at the Morgridge Institute for Research. In her spare time, she enjoys ultimate frisbee, running, and playing Pokémon-Go with her family.