By Kent Larsen
Maren is Waiting, Her Mother is Watching
EDMONTON, ALBERTA, CANADA -- While her daughter waits to see if her debut
album, "Waiting," becomes popular, her mother, Kathy Ord, is carefully
watching everything, worried that her daughter will be chewe up in the
cut-throat music industry or devastated if success never comes. An
experienced musician in her own right, Kathy Ord has served as a source of
stability and strength as Maren works her career and waits.
Kathy Ord has lived a musician's life. She met her husband, Alan, when she
attended a recital at which he performed more than 30 years ago. Impressed
with Alan Ord's Julliard-trained singing, Kathy went up to him afterwards to
compliment him, "We were both so taken with one another that I became
flustered and wanted to say. 'Your singing absolutely enthralled me.' But
instead, I said, 'Your singing absolutely appalled me,' " remembers Kathy.
"Once we stopped laughing, he arranged through a mutual friend to have me
accompany him on piano at a particular event where he was singing. We
eventually became engaged that year and were married nine months later."
After marriage, the couple moved to Edmonton, Alberta, where Alan now
teaches at the University of Alberta and Kathy gives voice and piano
lessons. They've raised 20 children, who performed in town collectively as
the Ord Family Singers. But in spite of the performing, Kathy never thought
any of her children would have a pop career. But after Maren entered a song
contest sponsored by a local radio station, she got a call from producer
Terry McBride, organizer of Lilith Fair and manager of singer Sarah
McLaughlan. "That was when we first began to think about it," remembers
Kathy. "We knew this could be possibly something and more and more interest
was generated. I got a phone call from Terry McBride and to be honest, I
didn't know who he was."
But while most families would jump at the opportunity McBride offered for
Maren, The Ord family, and Maren, were cautious, says Kathy, "We believe in
prayer to make important decisions," says Kathy. "It's more of a
confirmation so you feel good about what you're doing. But it wasn't a quick
little prayer. It was something we agonized over for five or six weeks."
Maren eventually decided to sign a contract with McBride's Netwerks/Capitol
That was four years ago. Kathy Ord has since become very well informed about
the popular music industry and some of the practical aspects of a pop music
career. She reads Maren's contracts, has traveled with her to recording
sessions in New York and in London, and closely watches the industry. But
she isn't very impressed with much of the industry, such as some of Maren's
competitors, like Brittney Spears and Christina Aguilera. "It just seems to
be -- eeeww -- getting scarier. It's now getting to the point where I can't
even watch it. Even the choreography, it's almost like soft porn. It's
sickening. So I don't really care for it."
Meanwhile, Kathy keeps Maren grounded, as "waiting" was released in Canada,
and awaits a national release in the US. She has even advised Maren to keep
a part-time job in a scrapbook store. "We don't really know what's going to
happen. When she worries about things, I tell her to take each day as it
comes," says Kathy. "But she's having a good time and what falls into place
will fall into place."
Edmonton Alberta Canada Journal 13May01 A2
By Sandra Sperounes: Journal Music Writer
Kathy Ord has a special interest in this pop star's career
[Submitted by Marc A. Schindler ]