Spotlight on Staff: Susan Peck

by Cheri Plavnick of the Radical Generosity Committee

Why would a musician choose a career in a church rather than other settings?  First U’s music director Susan Peck answers:  ”Working in a church allows me to put together a wide range of musical skills (playing piano, singing, conducting, teaching, arranging, composing and organizing) in one place, for a good cause.”  Susan has led congregational music programs for 26 years.  She is an active member of the UU Music Ministry and is a Certified Music Leader through UUA’s credentialing program.  What she loves about working at First U is “doing creative and meaningful work in a loving and dedicated community.”

Susan has been Director of Music at First Unitarian since the winter of 2016.  The visible aspects of Susan’s role include conducting the Chalice Choir and Sol Singers as well as co-leader and participant in the String Band and Spare Parts. An enormous amount of her time is spent behind the scenes in planning and rehearsal.  This includes “collaborating with the ministers to co-create worship services, researching music that serves UU values, supporting the message our ministers convey within each service, rehearsing with other musicians and involving congregation members in music-making.”

Susan grew up in Nebraska and Missouri and received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in music at University of Nebraska-Lincoln and Arizona State.  Her passions include hiking, rock climbing, working on her backyard habitat for birds and insects as well as parenting her three cats.

Those of us who have been with the church since the pandemic witnessed her amazing adaptation of the Chalice Choir into virtual performances.  With her creativity and dedication, Susan has elevated First U’s music program to a level not previously experienced and we are blessed to have her as our Music Director!

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