- The Washington Times - Saturday, June 30, 2001

U.S. Sen. Orrin G. Hatch has a passion that lies outside the bounds of public policy: song writing.
The Mormon Choir of Washington will present a free concert from 5 to 7 tonight in the Great Hall of the National Building Museum that features one of the Utah Republican's songs, "Morning Breaks on Arlington." The museum is at 401 F St. NW.
Mr. Hatch wrote the song, a tribute to the men and women who died in service to their country and are buried in Arlington National Cemetery, in memory of his brother, Jess, who died in World War II.
"It was a song to catch the spirit of Arlington," Mr. Hatch says.
"It's quite a touching piece," choir director Gary Clawson says. His group has performed three songs this year by Mr. Hatch, a fellow member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and hopes to use five or six of his selections next year.
Music has been part of Mr. Hatch's life since his childhood in the Pittsburgh area. His parents scraped together enough money to pay for six months of piano lessons when he was 6. He played the violin in high school, although athletics were his real interest.
"I think music is a great softening influence," Mr. Hatch says. "It gave me the other side of life — the beauty of art."
He was approached in 1995 by popular Mormon songwriter Janice Kapp Perry about the possibility of their writing hymns together.
The rest isn't quite show business, but Mr. Hatch says he has been involved in the production of eight CDs. His songs also have been performed by musicians including Donny Osmond, Gladys Knight and Natalie Grant.
Mr. Hatch initially wrote 10 songs for Miss Perry, which marked the beginning of the "My God Is Love" album. (Since then, he has written more than 300 songs with her.) His work with her caught the attention of Billy Hinsche, a keyboardist who has toured and recorded with the Beach Boys. They wrote six songs together.
Promotional material about Mr. Hatch's songs says award-winning lyricist Marilyn Bergman told Mr. Hatch she was pleased with his work. She sent some of his selections to Donna Hilley with Sony/ATV Tree Music Publishing in Nashville, Tenn.
Miss Hilley decided two of Mr. Hatch's songs were ready for Nashville and invited him to Tennessee to watch the recording of a demo. While Mr. Hatch was in Nashville, Randy Cox of Sony/ATV Tree found five large music publishers to produce four of the selections from "My God Is Love."
Mr. Hatch has dedicated several of his songs to notable people in his life. He dedicated "Souls Along the Way" to Victoria and U.S. Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, Massachusetts Democrat; "The Different Makes the Difference" to Muhammad Ali; and "All Because of You" to his wife, Elaine.
He also has written songs for people who aren't household names. "I write songs for others — individuals that I'm trying to uplift," he says. "You wouldn't necessarily know any of them."
He says he's not much of a singer himself. "I can sing in tone," Mr. Hatch says, "but you wouldn't want to hear it."
He has written a lullaby that some in the music business talk about presenting to Celine Dion, but he hasn't heard anything back from his contacts yet.
"I just keep writing (songs)," he says. "I love writing them. It really tickles me that people sing them."

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