BLUEFIELD, WV (WOAY) – Pete Sternloff, a local businessman and blues musician, is putting his vision to preserve and enhance the music scene in Southern West Virginia into action.
Appearing before some of the college’s dignitaries Tuesday, Sternloff announced his contribution to a new music center that will be placed in the library at Bluefield State College.
“People can come in and study Southern West Virginia music, know the history of it, and be part of a great history that we’ve had here in Bluefield,” Sternloff says.
The Pete Sternloff Center for West Virginia Musicology will archive and promote the rich music history out of Bluefield and Southern West Virginia.
Sternloff is providing initial funding for the center through a $200,000 gift. Additional funding will come through other individuals’ contributions and through grants.
“I hope that it gives them a feeling that they’re part of a history here that will enable them to go on and do the studies they need to do. Music is not something you just sit down and play, although I know people that can do that, it’s hard work and a lot of study,” he says.
In the past, Bluefield was host to an abundance of iconic musical legends, including Duke Ellington and Teddy Weatherford. Along with preserving the rich music history of the area, the Pete Sternloff Center will help celebrate it.
“We have so many great musicians that came out of this area and that were part of the music scene nationally and locally, and it’s important that we have a place to remember them,” says Sternloff.
The center will formally open by this summer and will operate as a non-profit foundation under the direction of the college.