Born in Hastings in Nebraska, Peggy graduated from Hastings Senior High School. She holds a bachelor of music education degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and a master’s degree in sacred music from Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University. Before coming to FUMCFW, she served as church organist/pianist and assistant choir director at First UMC Grapevine for 14 years and taught choral music at Birdville High School for 14 years.
Even as a child, Peggy conducted worship services at home, complete with music and scripture.”When I was in the fourth grade, I was called to be a Christian,” she says, “and the ministry just came as a natural outgrowth of that.”
She started playing piano in Sunday School when she was 11 years old and playing organ for the church when she was 13. “I feel like I have in my fingertips a direct connection to God. Playing the organ and the piano is like praying to me.”
In playing for worship services, Peggy says she likes to add meaning to congregational hymns by providing harmonizations and “color” to the text. “For example,” she explains, “if there’s a verse that is not as uplifting — maybe it’s a little more sorrowful, I’ll play it in a minor tonality with a softer registration; for a verse that is more uplifting, I’ll play more exuberantly.
Peggy says that she enjoys collaborating on ideas for the future of our Music and Worship Arts program and events that will take place at our church, as well as being with the people in Choral Union: “Is a lot of fun,” she adds, “it’s a great group of people!”
In her spare time Peggy likes spending time with her husband, Rev. Chuck Graff, whom she describes as her best friend, decorating the house, and being helpful to others.
In addition to her work with First Church, Peggy serves her profession as a mentor to young teachers, a judge and clinician for UIL choral competitions, and accompanist for band solo and ensemble contests and high school choir concerts.
Since the passing of her 14-year-old miniature dachshund, Scooter, she is currently between pets. She is stepmom to two lovely adult children, Sonia and Jonathan, and three grandchildren, Sadie, Macie, and Bella.