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What’s In The Bag, Frank? - A Memoir

By Frank Mairich Pooler

Frank Pooler: choral conductor, composer, and artist.
New publication by Rhondalay Press
$75 plus $6 shipping. 

Frank Pooler

From Wikipedia:


Known in both academic and professional music circles for his mastery of contemporary choral repertoire, Pooler has served as a guest conductor, clinician, lecturer and adjudicator throughout the continental United States, Canada, Europe, Scandinavia, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Hawaii, and Alaska. His published compositions, arrangements and editions, which are over 500 in number, have been widely performed in Europe and North America. Articles by Frank Pooler in the area of choral art have been published in major professional journals, and he has served as a member of the Editorial Board of the "Choral Journal."


  • 1943 While still a high school student, founded and directed the first children's choir at First (Norwegian) Lutheran Church.
  • 1953 Studied and worked with Scandinavian composers in Norway, Sweden and Denmark resulting in the English publication of more than 100 Scandinavian choral works.
  • 1954-1957 Minister of Music at First Lutheran Church, Albert Lea, MN.
  • 1955 Fellow of the American-Scandinavian Foundation.
  • 1959 – 1988 Established and lead Dept. of Choral Music Cal State Long Beach

In the mid-1970s, he also taught summer school in Saratoga Springs, New York, at Skidmore College. He gave graduate level classes as part of the State University of New York (Potsdam) "Saratoga Potsdam Choral Institute" (SPCI), directed by Brock MacElheran.

Recipient of the Sunni Award (Australia's Grammy) for production on the album, "SCAT!"

  • 2006 Honoree Award recipient at the American Choral Director Association Western Division convention in Salt Lake City, Utah.

He is co-author of three books, "The New Choral Notation, " "Sound and Symbol," and "Choralography - an Experience in Sound and Movement. " The "Frank Pooler Editions," and the "Frank Pooler Library of Significant Works," feature works by leading composers of the United States, Australia, Scandinavia, and Argentina.

Collaboration with The Carpenters

Frank Pooler with Richard & Karen Carpenter
Frank Pooler with Karen and Richard Carpenter - courtest of Wikipedia

Richard Carpenter accompanied Pooler's University Choir at California State University, Long Beach. Several years later, Karen Carpenter also joined the choir and recorded "Goodnight," "Crescent Noon," and "And When I Die" with the choir in 1969. Karen's parents hired Frank to give Karen music lessons. Richard Carpenter later composed the music to "Merry Christmas Darling," a lyric Pooler had written when he was 18. Karen later said, "'Merry Christmas Darling' I think, is a little extra special to both of us, because Richard wrote it, and the lyrics were written by the choral director at Long Beach State choir, where we went to school, Frank Pooler. Frank was very helpful in our college days, when we were trying to get a contract and constantly missing classes and everything. He was the only one down there who actually understood what we were after, and he stood behind us all the way. We just did a benefit at Long Beach state, for a scholarship fund, and we did it with the choir and the whole thing, and we did "Christmas Darling" and he just "glows" every time we do it….. I think it's my favorite, because it's really close to me."

Pooler died January 19, 2013 from lung cancer at his home in Los Alamitos, California.

View Frank Pooler information on Wikipedia

Frank Pooler