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Sent on Mormon-News: 14May01

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 label.

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."

Mothering Maren
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 ]


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