Mondays at 7:30 p.m.
ABU BEKR CHANTERS
Mike Sharp (Patrice)
Darrel Olson (Denise)
1st Vice President
2nd Vice President
Joe Chop (Jeannie)
Berger, Michael E. (Jane)
Rick Darrow (Lois)
The Abu Bekr Chanters is a chorus of approximately 25 singers. In addition to the fellowship of any shrine unit, the Chanters provide music for Abu Bekr Ceremonials and parades, and appear in musical support of the Masonic activities including the participation in installations and degree work. The Chanter Unit was formed as a unit of Abu Bekr Temple in 1920 and gave it’s first performance at the 1920 Spring Ceremonial under the direction of Noble Carl Norrbom.
Noble Norrbom served as director until 1951, except for a short period during the 1920’s when Noble Luverne Sigmond filled the position. Noble Paul Bower served as director from 1951 to 1957. In 1957, Don Kelsey, Past Potentate (1978) took the baton of the Chanters and continued as director until the end of 2003.
Under Don’s directions, the Chanters became a prominent male concert chorus appearing many times in Sioux City, but also from concert halls throughout the Siouxland area;Wiesensteig, Germany; London, England; and to home plate at the Sioux City Explorer’s baseball game.
Perhaps the Chanters’ most ambitious undertaking has been their participation in the 1986 Festival of 1,000 Voices Concert of the massed Welsh choirs in London’s Royal Albert Hall. The Chanters were invited by Dr. Haydn James, the director of the concert, and prepared 22 new members for the occasion-including several in Welsh! The Chanters evidently passed the language test as they were invited to return in 1988, 1994, and 2000.
At the Imperial Session in Toronto in 1989, the Chanters entered Imperial Competition with other Chanter Units from North America and emerged with the first place trophy. Noble Mike Berger became the Fifth director in January, 2004. The Theme song of the Chanters is ” You’ll Never walk alone” and alludes to the mission of the Shrine in caring for children. The Rodgers and Hammerstein number has been specially adapted for the Chanters by the inclusion of a narration, written in 1971 by Noble E.H. “Bus” Gulick, which so aptly states the purpose of the Shrine:
“Never does a Shriner stand so Tall,”
As when he stoops to break the fall
Of a child who is crippled, hurt or burned.
For these are our Hospitals’ deep concern,
And we know that with out trust in the heavenly throne
Neither child nor Shriner will ever walk alone.