Rajah Shrine Canters provide music at the fair

By on August 24, 2011

The public is invited to come down to Denver Fair in Denver Memorial Park on Sept. 16 to hear the sounds of the Rajah Shrine Canters. Visitors will find them by listening to the tones of music and melody.

The Rajah Chanters is the only choral music group within Rajah Shrine. It was organized in 1945 when Noble Jack Mumma was the Illustrious Potentate of Rajah. Early records indicate there were approximately 70 singers — a combination of Shrine Chanters and the Consistory Choir members. Most of the singing was done in conjunction with the Shrine ceremonials and Consistory reunions.

Noble Charles Hoffmaster was the first director of music and served until 1953. He was followed by his cousin, Noble Lester Hoffmaster, who directed the chanters until 1959. Noble Charles Sharman became director of music and served about 22 years.

There was a succession of directors of music for the next four years. Nobles Bernard Leightheiser, Dennis Sharman, Willis Frankhouser and James Matz all directed the Chanters for short periods of time. It was during the short time that Noble Matz was director that Rajah Chanters began to emerge as a competitor in the Mid-Atlantic Shrine Chanters Associations. However, because of professional conflicts, Noble Matz was unable to make a long term commitment as musical director.

The Denver Fair will run from Sept. 13 through 17.

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