"I started writing more pieces after that and studied composition
with a teacher," she said. "Now I write exclusively on commission.
I'm paid by people who need music."
Her piece "Character Matters" will receive its Los Angeles
premiere during the In Praise of Music concert Sunday at the Church
of the Lighted Window in La Canada Flintridge.
Pool was commiss- ioned to write the piece for the Kirby Quartet
to perform during an October concert series in Toronto.
It was written in honor of film composer David Raksin, who died
last summer. He wrote more than 90 feature-film scores, including the
1944 mystery "Laura."
Pool was his assistant for seven years. She was inspired by Raksin
because of his strong character and concern for issues of justice.
"Today, we have people in the public eye who have exhibited bad
character but are still taken seriously," she said. "We should honor
the past and present people of good character."
She submitted the work to the Los Angeles Chapter of the National
Assn. of Composers, U.S.A., co-sponsors of Sunday's concert, and it
was one of four selected to be played. Deon Price, a member of the
association, encouraged Pool to submit it.
"There are a lot of familiar music styles in it, like ragtime and
Victorian parlor music from the 1890s," Price said. "The title refers
back to 19th century piano music, which were short pieces with each
reflecting a character in the piece. The character might be a person,
a season of the year or a star in the sky or a mood."
In addition to composing, Price said Pool promotes fellow female
"She goes to their homes and finds their music in closets and
under beds ... she gets it in shape, takes it to performers, produces
a concert and many times it is recorded," she said.
In 1980, she helped organize what is now called the International
Alliance for Women in Music Congresses. Pool has organized
conferences in New York, Los Angeles and Mexico City that give new
composers the chance to attend workshops, perform for other composers
and hear other composers' works.
Before her two children were born in the 1970s, Pool composed