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Abilene Philharmonic Invites You to a Holiday Home Tour
Abilene Philharmonic Orchestra

October, 2012

Congratulations to the Abilene Philharmonic Orchestra, Heidi J. Kelley, and the six participating families for reminding us how lovely our homes can be during the holiday season. What a great cause to open your homes and hearts for!


Come and tour an extensive collection of Abilene’s most picturesque homes on Saturday, November 10th from 11am to 5pm as the Abilene Philharmonic Board of Governors invites you to attend its annual Holiday Home Tour. Home enthusiasts are invited to stroll through six homes in the Steamboat Mountain area brimming with holiday décor. All guests of the Holiday Home Tour receive an extra-special treat from local area musicians with live music performances throughout the homes.


Guests will be self-guided with a map brochure that comes with every ticket purchase. Tickets for the Holiday Home Tour are $20 and participants can purchase them from the following locations: the Philharmonic Office, Village Boutique, Michael Joseph Hair Salon, Avanti Salon, and Hickory Street Cafe. Tickets are available online at You can also purchase tickets at each home on the tour during the event.


The Board of Governors and Philharmonic Staff are always looking for ways to bring the Philharmonic off the stage and into your home. “This is an event we so enjoy outside of our concerts. It provides the community with an inside glimpse into some very prestigious homes. Christmas music adds a special touch to the festive décor and to top it off, we are thrilled to present live music from local groups,” stated Executive Director Heidi Kelley. “We are very grateful to the homeowners for letting us into their homes for the day.” All proceeds from this fundraiser benefit the Abilene Philharmonic Association. The tour begins and ends at any of the featured homes on the map. More detailed information about the Holiday Home Tour can be found at


Featured homes on Philharmonic Tour:

{{Photos of all homes are attached for your convenience.}}


Stephen and Jeannie Sorgen

197 Camino Norte

The lot on Steamboat Mountain was purchased, by the Sorgens,  in 2006.  In 2009, an additional parcel was purchased to protect the habitat in the ravine below.  In March, 2008, Jeannie and Steve began working with their Architect, Ken Schaumburg of Fort Worth, Texas, who specializes in Mediterranean Homes. 


Antique doors previously purchased from Seret and Sons in Santa Fe served as a starting point for the design and feel of the house.  Care was taken to include typical features of Andalusia Spain, such as spacious outdoor portals, thick exterior walls, a courtyard, niches for artwork, and plenty of rich, deep colors of wood, stucco, tile and other finishes.  Generous use of ironwork, with entry and wine cellar doors from Durango Doors and chandeliers and sconces from Ashore Iron Works in Dallas, enhances the Spanish feel. 


Generous use of dark wood, crafted by Abilene Millwork, hand-made tile by Ken Mason, saltillo floor tile and travertine in the baths combine to complete the Spanish ambience.  The kitchen is the heart of the home, where Steve and Jeannie love to entertain.  There is a back kitchen where all the prep work can be done. 


Out front, there is a large bar, made of a solid slab of Brazilian teak, where guests can gather while the cooking is going on.  The wine cellar is conveniently adjacent to that bar.  The courtyard is an architectural element that is a big part of Spanish culture.  This lush green oasis provides intimacy, security, comfort, and protection from the fierce winds of the mountain. 


Another key feature is the sound of running water, provided by the fountain, a gift from Jeannie to Steve, acquired in New Orleans 10 years ago.  It whimsically reflects their passion for wine and had been in storage until it found its place in the courtyard 2 years ago.  The warmth of the courtyard is enhanced by the reclaimed brick patio surface and the ochre stucco walls.  The carving on the courtyard gate embodies the name of the home:  La Casa del Sol e Luna.  


The back of the house is xeriscaped, and the reclaimed brick is again utilized.  The lap pool is decorated with Spanish tiles and brick coping.  The expansive pergola beginning at the west end of the pool extends over to the outdoor kitchen with fireplace, grill and Steve’s pride and joy—a pizza oven made by Forno Bravo.  The beautiful sandstone table is from a patient of Steve’s who owns a quarry in Mineral Wells.  The project was completed is April 2010 after 14 months of construction.  Jeannie and Steve feel that every detail was given special attention and they couldn’t be happier with their home.


James and Martha Webb

901 County Road 650

This Mediterranean style home on top of Steamboat Mountain offers spectacular scenic views.  The four bedroom, five bath home was designed, contracted, and built by the owners over the last three years from research and ideas they had collected for many years. 


Some of the architectural features include high ceilings, arches, decorative iron and windows galore!  From the front of the home, friends and family can see the West Texas sunsets while visiting in the courtyard.  Upon entering the two-story living room/dining room, you see Cedar Gap below and the mountains beyond.  The downstairs also consists of the master suite, guest suite, mudroom and study. 


The master bath shares a two-sided fireplace with a private patio.  Ideal for family and friends, the upstairs consists of two bedrooms, two baths, a home theater, workout room and custom designed bar overlooking the living room.  The bar is a mixture of old and new.  The owners used hand carved panels salvaged from a Taiwanese desk to complete the front of the bar and the cabinet. 


The stairs wind their way up the turret with iron railing fabricated by the owner.  Adjacent to the stairs there is a hot tub deck for enjoying the view.  Both upstairs and down, there are beautiful granite countertops, as well as a split granite wall and backsplashes. 


Richard and Patricia Trifilo

174 Lake Trail

This 5300 square foot Leuders limestone home was designed by Bulverde architect and family friend Jim Kissling.  After 15 military moves the family had specific ideas for the house, 2.3 beautiful secluded acres, and breathtaking views. 


Built by Akens Brothers in 2007 this open concept house includes custom alder cabinetry and doors, mesquite floors, travertine tile, granite countertops, and blue ceilings throughout the house.  The stairs are made from mesquite end cuts.  A “keyhole” bookcase opens the second floor to the first floor living room. 

Each bathroom’s tile work was designed by the owner, including the guest area that used wood from a local barn built in 1885, and the master bath’s “flowing water”.  The powder room copper artwork sink sits on a mesquite stump pedestal.  Unusual and interesting art and furniture from the family’s travels around the world can be seen such as a burled cherry wood grandfather clock, a carved teak Thai cabinet, a mesquite and turquoise dining table, and a precious jewel art piece from India.  Artwork by Robert Lyn Nelson, Jay L. Tschudy, Guy Buffet, and George Holland is featured throughout the home.


The outside landscaping was designed by Tom Martin and Masterscapes and is a project in progress.  The front of the house features a water fountain and koi pond surrounded by native grasses, trees, an plants, and a Nic Noblique sculpture.  The north hillside features a xeriscape terrace of limestone, and herb garden, spa, and a raised-bed rose garden with stainless steel and dichromic glass Kinetic sculpture by Austin artist La Paso.  The west yard will eventually feature native landscape, a patio with a fire pit, a bird sanctuary and destination pathways to star-gazing promontory and access to the lower property.



Leroy and Deborah Bell

217 Steamboat Drive

A chance afternoon walk up Steamboat Mountain led to the discovery of our home’s property.  The Bells were soon owners of a piece of property which they felt offered a unique building opportunity but also many challenges.  Their architect surveyed the property and suggested a location as close to the edge of the cliff, which offered a view from every room - Potosi to Tuscola. 


The Bells have always enjoyed Santa Fe and Sedona and determined the site deserved a look of the region they had admired during our visits.  After many hours of study of the plans and minor revisions, construction began and was amplified in July 2002. 


From time to time discussion with young people familiar with the location they discovered the site was a popular location for young people to hang out and enjoy the view.  The house is about 3200 square feet of living space with a detached three car garage.  LeRoy and Deborah choose to use drive it material to add to the style which blends in with the landscape. 


Most of the original bronze statues and art have been chosen during our visits out West.  They especially enjoy works by Vic Payne, Dr. Robery Taylor, Gary Mauro, Bill Worell and other special artists that they have met. 


Many have questioned the distance from the City but the few extra miles are more than made up by the enjoyment of hilltop living.  Five years ago they added a water feature, which includes hot tub, swimming pool and an outdoor kitchen which has become an important and enjoyable addition.  Many spring and summer evenings are spent enjoying the West Texas sunrises and sunsets!  The Bells hope you enjoy your visit to Steamboat Mountain. 


Phil and Kathy Morehead

1326 County Road 650

Built in 2009 by Jeff Luther Construction and designed by Bob Roadcap, this transitional style home is situated on 15 acres at the south end of Steamboat Mountain.  Designed to take full advantage of the 10 mile view down the Jim Ned Valley, the design features easy viewing and access to the outside deck. 


An open floor plan with gourmet kitchen makes for an elegant but informal lifestyle.  The custom Tennessee cherry mantle was made from wood collected by Phil’s father over 50 years ago.  Each bedroom and bath also has a view of the Jim Ned Valley.  One bedroom features an antique bedroom set from the late 1920’s that was used by Kathy’s mother as a young girl.  


Interior designer Lynda Gilreath helped select colors and fabrics for the house.  The owner’s have an extensive collection of art including works from local artists Sarabeth Clevenger, Tony Blown, and Russell Ellison.  The sculpture in the front of the house is from Nic Noblique.  Landscaping was done to keep watering and maintenance at a minimum. 


Ed and Roberta Brandecker

133 Camino Norte

Ed and Roberta Brandecker have always had a love for Italy and the Tuscan countryside.  So when looking for land in which to build their home, Steamboat Mountain with the views overlooking valleys, reminded them of Tuscany.  They sought out an architect that could capture the feeling of being in a hilltop Tuscan country home, and found Charles Travis of Austin, Texas. 


Over the next 13 months, they worked closely with him in the design of the home.  The builder was Perry Stockard, of Stockard Construction and along with his wife, worked closely in the finishing touches that fit a Tuscan home.  As you enter the autocourt, the large stone and brick well in the center is an exact replica from a monastery in Siena, Italy.  The pavers are in a herringbone pattern, typical of what is seen at piazza’s in Italy. 


The brickwork around the windows mimic the pictures of home the Brandecker’s took while visiting Italy.  The large terra cota pots at the entrance to the home were purchased from Impruenta, Italy.  The Brandeckers wanted all authentic materials.  The terra cota flooring is over 150 years old and reclaimed from Europe. 


Counters, fireplace, fountain and entrance well are designed out of limestone by Berthold Haas, Austin, Texas.   Sinks are all hammered copper and plumbing fixtures are all brass.  The vaulted ceilings, thick wooden beams, and wrought iron chandeliers and fixtures are all reminiscent of old world Tuscany.  The backsplash to the stove was custom made from them in Deruta, Italy.  It depicts towns they had previously visited, San Gimingnano, Siena, Deruta, and Orvieto. 


The chandelier and sconces in the dining room were hand blown for them from Murano, Italy.  The tall sculptured wood buffet is from 1880s Italy.  The mirrors in the downstairs bathrooms are from Orvieto and Deruta, Italy.  If you get a chance, peek out the study library and view their vineyard which will produce its first vintage of tempranillo/grenanche wine next year.   

In its 62nd year, the Abilene Philharmonic Orchestra is one of Abilene’s oldest performing arts organizations. Led by Music Director and Conductor David Itkin, the Philharmonic is the only professional orchestra within 80 miles of Abilene and draws audiences from more than 50 Texas cities. The Philharmonic provides opportunities for the public to enjoy excellence in symphonic performance by offering musical diversity and innovative educational programs in order to enrich the quality of life in our community. Information concerning the Abilene Philharmonic’s 2012-2013 season and donor opportunities may be found by visiting


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