Immaculate Conception, the 'Gem of New Orleans', is a beautiful building with a very reverberant acoustic, and located near the French Quarter of New Orleans.
Phoenix Organs was commissioned to build a PD 361, a three manual, 61 stop, 4 specification instrument. The first spec is characterized by 1929 Harrison and Harrison Diapasons and a thrilling Bombarde division. The second is a most wonderful French specification, which is dazzling in that acoustic.
Organist and organ consultant for Immaculate Conception, Br. Patrick Hough, first played a Phoenix at Leed's Cathedral, England where he was organ scholar.
"First of all, let me say just how very pleased I am with the outcome of the organ. It is excellent and has transformed the Church. There were so many positive comments and I for one felt that I was back in England playing in an English Cathedral. The reeds especially have impressed me, but then I can’t forget to mention the great console design, in fact the list could go on. The organ is incredible. The choir and musicians that I played with on Sunday told me that they found the organ to be a very friendly instrument to play with. I will be recommending it to any and all that need a new organ." -- J. Patrick Hough, S.J.
Phoenix Organs south-eastern representative, David Simmons, of DL Simmons and Comapny, Fairhope, AL installed the organ, and Phoenix Tonal Director, Donald Anderson, who chose the pipe samples for the instrument, travelled to New Orleans to voice it. Moving the organ to the balcony was not an easy task as it involved 6 flights of stairs. McWilliams Movers, of Peterborough, Canada (Mayflower representatives) tackled the difficult move and had to tip the organ on it's side 6 times at every small landing. Phoenix utilizes McWilliams for all of their moves in North America.
You can hear the Phoenix installed at Immaculate Conception on this website. Go to 'recordings' and download the full selections played by Donald Anderson.