Five children huddled around three different organs, mesmerized by the different sounds. The Victoria Crossroads Chapter of the American Guild of Organists hosted a camp for children in third-sixth grades Saturday. This camp allowed the children a hands-on experience watching and playing the organ.

“The little pipes make the really high sounds... and the really tall ones make a really low sound,” said guild member Kristopher Fuchs to the children while explaining the mechanics of the organ sounds. Fuchs is a priest at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, where he also plays the organ. Fuchs has been playing the organ since he was in seventh grade.

Members of the guild took the children and their parents to three Victoria churches to show them three different types of organs. The group started at Trinity Lutheran Church, then headed to St. Mary’s Catholic Church and ended at Victoria First United Methodist Church.

Some children were shy about hitting the keys of the organ, while others couldn’t keep their hands off the instruments.

“I know just about everything about organs ... There’s nothing I love more than playing the organ,” said 9-year-old Asher Vahalik.

Asher plays piano and violin and played the organ about four times.

“My favorite organ song is ‘Toccata and Fugue in D minor,’” Asher said.

Guild member Leah Matocha played the organ for the children at Trinity Lutheran Church, where she is a musician.

“Hopefully (the camp) will grow, and then we’ll repeat it,” Matocha said.

The Victoria Crossroads Chapter of the American Guild of Organists hopes to create future opportunities for children and teens to learn more about organs.

Shelby Miller is the multimedia intern for the Victoria Advocate. She can be reached at or @samillerphotos on Twitter.

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Multimedia Intern

Shelby Miller is currently a photojournalism student at Ohio University. She looks forward to covering events in South Texas.

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