Dwight Somerville was born on January 3, 1924. He earned a bachelor’s degree in education with a concentration in music supervision, studying at Geneva College, Muskingum College and Bowling Green. Then from 1945 through 1983 — 38 years — he led the SHS Whippet marching and concert bands. An alum quotes a 2004 Shelby
Daily Globe article that cites Mr. Somerville as having shared “his love of music and his talented teaching style with thousands of students.” Says the alum, “I was fortunate to be one of those students who grew up in the Dwight Somerville years. What a wonderful experience it was to be in the Shelby band. We worked hard and really enjoyed it. He encouraged us with his wonderful enthusiasm, his great sense of humor and his true love for music! He always respected us and that respect was returned to him. Even if we weren’t the most talented, he let you know how important you were to the band. First chair or last, you always knew he cared about you.” Says another alum, “Dwight gave of himself for many years. We’ve had some great bands since he retired but nothing to compare with his quality and longevity.” A third alum cites his writing the SHS Alma Mater and adds, “He was hard on us but that always paid off in the performances at games and in concerts.” Mr. Somerville lives in Shelby.
Nominators: Jocelyn Armstrong McCauley ’69 who lives in Shelby;; Betty Reau Hoover ’51 who lives in Garland, Texas; Margie Parsons Erick ’63 who lives in Bucyrus, Ohio.