If you’ve been to a performance inside the Washington Pavilion, you’ll know about the Mary W. Sommervold Hall.
It’s named in honor of Mary Sommervold, who was the first Executive Director of the South Dakota Symphony Orchestra.
When presented with the first Mayor’s Award for the Arts, the headline read “A Zealot for the Arts”. Her family says that’s because she knew great art is essential to build great communities.
She was also the first woman appointed to the Board of Trustees of Sanford Health System before serving as president, twice.
On top of all of that, she was also the President of the South Dakota Symphony Guild, President of the Board of Trustees of the Washington Pavilion, and President of the South Dakota Board of Education among many other arts and education organizations.
Sommervold’s love of music also spread into the classroom, teaching students at Cleveland, Franklin, Edison, All Saints and Lincoln High School.
She also hosted the daytime television show “Party Line”.
Sommervold died in 2008 at the age of 72.