Maren Ord Burnham: Mormon Singer
Maren Whitney Ord Burnham is a Canadian pop and rock singer and songwriter. She is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Ord Burnham was born on February 28, 1981, in Edmonton, Alberta, where she was raised. She is the eighth of ten children in a musical family. Her father, a Juilliard-trained opera director, was a professor of music, and her mother taught piano and voice lessons. Maren was taught by her mother, and taught herself to play the guitar. The family toured and performed as the Ord Family Singers.
She met Canadian music manager Terry McBride at a 1998 audition for Lilith Fair, a traveling musical festival and took him as her manager with the company Nettwerk. At eighteen years old, she signed to a major label, a multi-album international deal with EMI/Capitol. Her songs were heard on several episodes of the American television series Felicity, and she performed the theme song to the 2000 motion picture Thomas and the Magic Railroad. She performed her single “Perfect” on the TV series Joan of Arcadia, and in the movies Crazy/Beautiful and Extreme Dating. She appeared in The R.M. in 2003. She won awards nominations, produced albums (Waiting, Pretty Things, My True Love Gave to Me, Not Today) and toured extensively for more than five years.
With a husband (Joe) and eventually four children, she didn’t want to tour anymore. But songwriting remains her passion.
Ord Burnham recalls: “When I was 14 or 15, I saw my first musical, something called Saturday’s Warrior, and it got me thinking ‘Hey, I could do this!’” She considered her first attempt awful, and research playwriting. She then decided to immerse herself in the craft and in one year appeared in four musicals, Annie, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, The Drowsy Chaperone, and Forever Plaid (as the musical director). In April 2015, her two-act musical Cursed by a Woman premiered. She wrote the music, book, and lyrics. The theme song, “Have You Ever Had A Dream?”, is her own
With the release of her album Pretty Things on November 21, 2006, Ord Burnham began an acoustic phase of her career. She also coproduced the entire record herself at a studio in Orem, Utah.
She is also stepping into writing songs for other performers.