It's Shawn Carter Peterson at the piano, stillHis...

SUNDAY SNAPSHOTS

May 31, 1992|By Mary Corey | Mary Corey,Staff Writer

It's Shawn Carter Peterson at the piano, still

His classmates at Friends School call him Beethoven.

-- Shawn Carter Peterson laughs as he admits it, but he understands why.

Since the age of 4, he has been a scholarship student at Peabody Preparatory. At 6, he started performing. And this fall he leaves for Vassar College in New York, again on scholarship, to pursue a degree in music and theater.

"For as long as I can remember, it's been me and the piano," says Shawn, 17, of Cherry Hill.

Such will be the case today, when he gives a solo senior recital at Peabody Institute's Leakin Hall at 4 p.m.

Encouraged by his grandmother and his father, who raised him, he stuck with music long after other youngsters traded in practicing scales for playing sports. He has won nearly a dozen competitions, and although that's meant missing some social activities, he hasn't minded.

"When I'm playing, I find a part of myself to show to other people," he says.

He's also learned grace under pressure, which came in handy during a recent recital when the ivory started chipping off the keys of a piano he was playing.

His major challenge has been getting accustomed to competitions where he is often the only black participant.

"It's been a plus and a minus," he says. "I'm a novelty, but I'm also sensitive to being the only African-American person there."

As a teen-ager, Dick Hug found it so tough to say no to people his father once remarked: "Good thing you're not a woman."

Today the Baltimore business executive still has problems turning people down -- but now nonprofits benefit from his generosity of spirit.

During the last 16 years, he has worked diligently behind the scenes, helping organizations including United Way of Central Maryland, the National Aquarium and Loyola College raise money.

Now the chairman of the board of Environmental Elements Corp. embarking on one of his greatest challenges: a $125 million capital campaign for the University of Maryland Medical Center.

For his efforts, he recently received the 1992 Outstanding Volunteer Fund-Raiser Award from the National Society of Fund Raising Executives.

"It's recognition of a lot of time and effort. . . . That pleases me. But it's really been my pleasure. I've gotten so much out of this," says Mr. Hug, 57, who lives in Arnold.

While he sees his involvement as the responsibility of a corporate leader, Mr. Hug values having indirectly brought Maryland's most powerful and powerless together.

As for his own life, there's only been one minor inconvenience.

"You get up earlier," he says, "and you go to bed later."

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