Madison in Bloom concert

Spring garden tour in Madison
to offer after hours entertainment

Piano music, prose, poetry readings
to benefit history center

By Konnie McCollum
Staff Writer

(March 2009) – This year’s “Madison in Bloom” annual tour of area gardens will feature a new program for visitors and residents of Madison, Ind. “Happy Hour in the Garden,” will feature a piano recital by well-known Hanover College music professor Kimm Hollis, and poetry and prose readings by community volunteers Thelma Mullett and Margaret Seifert.

Thelma Mullet, Kimm Hollis and Margaret Seifert

Photo by Konnie McCollum

Participants in the new
“Madison in Bloom” program are
(from left): Thelma Mullet, Kimm
Hollis and Margaret Seifert.

The program is scheduled for 5 p.m. on May 9 and will be held on the grounds of the Jefferson County Historical Society’s Museum complex, 615 W. First St. There is no set admission fee, but the performance is a fundraiser for the society, so contributions are welcome.
The “Madison in Bloom” tour includes six private gardens that are not otherwise open to the public, six gardens that have never been on previous tours, and a plant sale. This year, the tour will be held on the weekends of May 9-10, and May 16-17.
“Anyone and everyone are welcome to attend the after-hours program,” said Joe Carr, executive director of the Jefferson County Historical Society. “I believe the program will appeal to all ages.”
Hollis, the professor of music and Department Chair at Hanover College, came up with the idea during a brainstorming session about ways to give the garden tour an edge. “We wanted to do something new and different,” he said. “Many people complain there is nothing to do in the evenings after the tour has ended. This is something for which they will want to stay in town.”
Hollis is a well-known performer in the area and has done numerous community piano concerts throughout his career at Hanover College. He joined Hanover’s faculty in 1975. His credits include a 14-year stint as the district chair of the Southern Indiana Music Teachers Association, chair of the state committee which compiled the piano solo list for Indiana School of Music Association district and state contests, and adjudicator for Indiana School of Music and Music Teachers National Associations, National Guild and Federation.
“The music will have a ‘garden’ theme to it,” he said. “The selections are light, and those who enjoy salon music will certainly like what we have planned.”
Also on the agenda for the evening are select prose and poetry readings by Margaret Seifert and Thelma Mullet. “We plan to do a variety of readings, including humor,” said Seifert, long-term Hanover Town Council member and past president. “We may even have some original work to present.”
Seifert, director of support services for academics at Ivy Tech Community College, has served the communities of Madison and Hanover in a variety of capacities. Her long list of contributions includes being the former dean of students at Hanover College and holding numerous positions within the Ivy Tech Community College System. She has served as president of the Hanover Town Council; president of the Girls Club of Jefferson County board; vice chairman of the Town of Hanover Planning Commission; and president of Hanover College Faculty Women’s Club. She has chaired the Chamber of Commerce Workshop and served as an officer at Hanover United Methodist Church. She has been honored by several organizations and earned numerous awards for outstanding service.
Mullet has been a long-term board member and volunteer for the Jefferson County Historical Society. She was president of the board for two years. She founded the American Association of University Women’s annual book fair, held at Ivy Tech Community College, and works with disabled children’s groups in the area.
She has also been a dedicated community worker for her church, Hanover United Methodist Church. She has been extremely active in her church’s outreach program and food bank and is involved in the new Clearinghouse community outreach project.
Hollis, Seifert and Mullet are thrilled to be working together on program. “We’ve done this many times, but never all together,” said Hollis.
‘Happy Hour in the Garden” will begin with complimentary wine and hors d’oeuvres. The selections of music will include “Echoes of Spring,” by Friml and “Is it Anything Bad to Pick a Few Flowers,” by Martinu.
The evening is dedicated to the late Fred Mullett and Ralph Seifert, the husbands of the ladies involved in the program. Both men had long careers as faculty members at Hanover College. “We look forward to seeing everyone at the performance,” said Mullet. “Bring your lawn chairs and come out to enjoy the evening.”

• For more information about “Happy Hour in the Garden,” or “Madison in Bloom,” call the Jefferson County Historical Society at (812) 265-2335.

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