Church Hosts Concert to Restore Historic Pipe Organ

Basilica of the Immaculate Conception Exterior

Benefit Concert to Feature Irish Tenor Emmet Cahill

Basilica of the Immaculate Conception, located in the downtown Cathedral District, is hosting a Christmas benefit concert, Pipes of Praise, on Nov. 26 at 7:30 p.m. at Florida Theatre. The concert stars Emmet Cahill – dubbed Ireland’s most exciting young tenor – and all proceeds from the concert will go toward the repair and restoration of the Catholic church’s 100-year-old pipe organ.

Cahill, who is also a part of the group Celtic Thunder, will be accompanied by Seamus Brett. The show will feature holiday and Irish favorites, with special guests from the Bishop Kenny High School chorus. 

The Historic Organ Repair and Restoration Project has a fundraising goal of $200,000 to provide the long-needed repairs to the bellows, electrical system and pipes. The pipe organ, an electro-pneumatic Pipe III-30 Hutchins 1908 Cabinet Work by Ernest Skinner, will also be cleaned and a new console will be added to allow for both traditional use and digital sound options. 

Basilica of the Immaculate Conception Interior

Tickets start at $33 and are available through the Florida Theatre website, by phone and in person at the theatre box office.

The church is also hosting a special reception package for a limited number of Friends of the Basilica at the Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront Hotel. The pre-concert reception starts at 5 p.m., and the package includes champagne and hors d’oeuvres, premium concert seating with parking, and a special meet-and-greet with Emmet Cahill. Tickets for the reception-and-show package are $250 per person and are only available online at All package proceeds go toward the organ restoration campaign.

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