Wornall Majors House Museums

Steeped in History: Tea & Harmonies at the Wornall House

Eventbrite bannerSaturday, October 6
2:00 Reception
2:30 Performance
John Wornall House Museum, 6115 Wornall Rd., KCMO

Enjoy tea and a treat on the beautiful Wornall lawn (weather permitting), followed by a musical performance from soprano Jayne Siemens and baritone Tom Garrison in the parlor. Our singers will be accompanied by Ellen Sommer, on our historic 1867 Steinway piano. This beautiful piano originally belonged to the Wornall family.

Because of limited seating area in the Wornall House, tickets will be limited. Don’t miss your chance to experience a special performance in this historic setting!

$15/person, includes admission, tea and a snack.
Purchase tickets at: https://steepedinhistory.eventbrite.com. Tickets may also be purchased by calling 816-444-1858.

Sponsored by Tea Market.

Take your seat in history – special donor opportunity!

IMG_20180904_144631 IMG_20180904_144604
This could be your seat for Steeped in History!
Turkish Lady & Gentleman’s Chairs
This could be your seat for Steeped in History!
Velvet sofa
$300/seats two people

Have a seat in the Wornall parlor for this event – in a seat originally owned by the Wornall family. For a donation of $150 per person ($300/pair), you can reserve your seat in either the Wornall’s Turkish lady and gentleman’s chairs (c. 1865-1880), or a seat for two on the Wornall’s sofa (c. 1840-1855). These furniture objects belonged to Roma Wornall and have a long history being in the parlor of the Wornall House.

Because of furniture preservation concerns, we do not allow visitors to sit on Museum furniture. But for this event only, take your seat in support of artifact care at the Wornall House.

In addition, you will have the best seats in the house! Don’t miss this unique opportunity to enjoy music from a comfortable, historic seat while helping to preserve the very history you sit among!

First come, first serve. Reserve your historic seat at our ticketing site.



About Our Performers:


Tom Garrison, Baritone

Thomas began playing the piano when he was three, had a private teacher at age seven, and studied in high school at Jordan College of Music, Butler University.  When he began his music studies at Ball State University, he learned that he could also sing!  He earned his Master’s degree at University of Bridgeport, and returned to Ball State for a Doctor of Arts in Voice.  His postgraduate education continued winning a fellowship at Aspen Music Festival (Fiora Contino, Margaret Hillis and Charlene Archibeque), Clare College Cambridge (where his teachers included John Rutter, Sir David Willcocks and Stephen Cleobury), The Britten-Pears School (Hugues Cuenod) and a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities to Mozart’s Worlds in Vienna.

 Thomas shared that studying at Clare College Cambridge, deciding to remain in London, and teaching at the Hall Mead School gave him an opportunity to broaden his horizons.  He developed a close relationship with British composer Dal Strutt, who composed several pieces for his voice and sang premieres of Strutt’s work at the Greenwich Festival, the British Music Information Center, All Saints Society, Essex, and other venues around London.  The guitarist Martin Vishnick invited him to sing songs by the Renaissance English composers John Dowland and Thomas Campion on his recitals.  Thomas performed as soloist with the Capella Singers, Ramsey Singers, and the Pink Singers, as their soloist in West Berlin for Hans Eisler’s “Die Mutter.”

 Thomas sang the first performances of John Rutter’s “Shadows” for voice and guitar, with guitarist Ramona Hartmetz in Kansas City as well as Rutter’s “Mass for the Children” with the Philharmonia of Kansas City.  He served as baritone soloist for Grace and Holy Trinity Cathedral, KC, and on tour in Salzburg, Paris, Florence, Westminster Abbey and the cathedrals of Christchurch, St. Mary’s, Southwell, Ely, St. Patrick’s, St. Davids, Birmingham, Wells, Bristol, Worcester, Exeter and Norwich.

 After singing opera throughout his college years, his first ‘professional’ opera was “Die Fledermaus” at New Haven Opera.  Lyric Opera Kansas City hired Thomas in 1981 for the chorus of “Fidelio” and the rest is history!  One hundred plus shows, and counting!


Jayne Siemens, Soprano

Siemens first garnered attention at age 5 as the best squirrel in the Wichita Children’s Theater improvisational class where she also made her professional stage debut in fourth grade as Little Boy Blue with actress Helen Hayes. She discovered her singing voice that same year, which led to the Interlochen Academy of the Arts in high school, a scholarship to the University of Michigan and a master’s in opera from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London where she was a Fulbright Scholar.

She performed leading roles at the Lyric Opera of Chicago and has sung with the Greater Miami Opera, Bern Switzerland Stadtheater and the South Bank Theater in London. She also performed with some of the most prestigious singers in the opera business, such as Kiri te Kanawa and Samuel Ramey.

When not warbling to the howling obbligato of her Welsh Corgi Quinnie, Siemens is president and founder of Venice Communications, Inc., an integrated marketing, visual storytelling, public relations and social media company.


Ellen Sommer, Pianist

Pianist Ellen R. Sommer has quickly established a reputation as a much sought-after collaborative pianist, chamber musician, and coach.  She performs extensively throughout the United States, Canada, Central and South Americas, Europe and Asia.  Most recent engagements include performances at the Montgomery Arts House for Music and Architecture in Malibu, California; and concerts in San Jose, Costa Rica and Quito, Ecuador.

Sommer often serves as a pianist for regional, national and international competitions and festivals, as well as recital series and radio broadcasts. Ellen is a frequent performer in the live broadcast studio at Kansas Public Radio.  Additionally Sommer coaches and performs for several summer camps and institutes, including the Omaha Conservatory of Music Institute, BLYAP and Sound Encounters Suzuki Strings camp in Ottawa, Kansas, Midwestern Music Camp in Lawrence, KS, and Interlochen Arts Academy in Michigan.

 Recently Ellen was awarded a prestigious honor as a 2016 Distinguished Alumni from Missouri Western State University in Saint Joseph, MO.

Ellen is a founding member of Allegresse, a fresh and inspiring trio for flute, oboe and piano.  Recently the trio was invited to present a recital and master classes at the Festival of New American Music in Sacramento, CA.  Allegresse is currently completing a third compact disc recording and preparing for a March 2017 premier of two new works for the trio, including soprano.  Additionally Ellen has teamed with soprano Tiffany Haas, performing at venues throughout the United States.  Tiffany spent nine years on Broadway as Glinda in Wicked


Sommer has collaborated on numerous professional recordings, including four under the auspices of Potenza Records.  Most recently, Ellen recorded works of composer, Ingrid Stolzel for the Parma label.  Ellen will be recording with trumpeter, Matthew Vanjel summer of 2018.


Ellen currently serves as a Lecturer in Piano at the University of Kansas School of Music.  She performs regularly with faculty, visiting artists, and students.  From 1994-2003 Sommer taught at Missouri Western State University, both as piano and voice faculty.


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The John Wornall House

6115 Wornall Road
Kansas City, MO. 64113


The Alexander Majors House & Barn

8201 State Line Road
Kansas City, MO. 64114


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Photo Credits: Jeri Adams, Sarah Bader-King, John Browning, and Bruce Mathews