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Messiah’s 16th Annual Ring and Sing Concert took place on Sunday, December 14th.  The concert featured the musical talents of Messiah’s several handbell groups, the adult choir, the Luthermen quartet and the church’s instrumental ensemble.  The event was emceed by Rhonda Gaede, who also serves as the director for the church’s handbell choir, Notabella.

Notabella, which is comprised of youth and adults, started things off with “The First Noel” and were joined by flutist Michelle Bono on “Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming.”

While  ringing was very much the center stage of the event, there was plenty of singing, too!  The audience sang several traditional Christmas Carols accompanied by the church orchestra and newly installed pipe organ.  Lois Graff, who is Messiah’s organist and Director of Music Ministries, directed the instrumental ensemble which is comprised of youth and adults musicians.
The Adult Choir performed “Away in the Manger.”  Messiah member Dick Azzam arranged the familiar tune to four parts for the occasion and also directed.

The Luthermen, an all male quartet, sung “Silent Night” with the addtion of Messiah’s Beth Gloe. The foursome also sang the spiritual “Rise Up, Shepherd and Follow.”

The Cherub Choir,  led by Messiah’s Outreach Director, Claire Strand,  sang and rang  “Jingle Bells” and sang “Happy Birthday” to Jesus.   Messiah’s youngest choir expanded it’s numbers greatly this past year and sported brand new choir robes for their performance.

Along with a handbell trio, the handbell quartet returned to play “Caroler’s Hoedown”  complete with cowboy hats.  This challenging and humorous piece never fails to delight the youngsters in the audience.
Another tradition of Ring and Sing is the audience participation segment.  Notabella players distributed the octaves of chimes and their corresponding Christmas Carol music books. “If the word is circled, you ring… if it’s underlined… you stop it from ringing. It’s as simple as that!”  explained Rhonda Gaede to the audience.The family friendly and light hearted evening ended with a Christmas Cookie reception put on by church volunteers.  The event is sponsored by Thrivent Financial for Lutherans.  Donations were collected to benefit the Madison Public Library.

To view additional pictures from the evening:

View additional photos from Ring and Sing 2014


Meredith Kilby