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FINDING A CAREER PATH: pete stringfellow
To score the number one most requested country song in Bay Area radio is a feat usually reserved for the likes of well-known Nashville names and acts. SRJC alumnus Pete Stringfellow hit the top of the charts with his hit country song Santa Rosa in 2006 and hasn’t stopped since.
Although raised in Santa Rosa, Pete was conceived in Bogota, Columbia by a 16 year old girl banished from her family. A sympathetic aunt helped her reach Mexico where Pete was adopted by Laren and Georgia Stringfellow, who brought him home to Santa Rosa. Legally blind, but able to wear corrective lenses, Pete knew from a young age that he always wanted to pursue his passion in music and become an entertainer.
SRJC kicked off his formal education in music. “I wanted to take advantage of the great programs offered at SRJC. It was considered one of the top three junior colleges nationwide and I considered it a privilege to attend. I’m blessed to have SRJC in my home town.”
Like many students today, Pete struggled to make ends meet while attending classes, holding down three jobs at a time. He worked as a restaurant host in the Doubletree Hotel and as a sales employee at Circuit City, practicing his piano skills on keyboards for sale in the store. Two to three times a week, Pete performed with his own band in local clubs and venues. Pete ended up staying a third year at SRJC in order to take additional non-required music classes, learning from some of his favorite instructors including Bennett Friedman.
After SRJC, Pete headed to Chico State to pursue a bachelor’s degree in recording arts and music composition and stayed to complete a master’s degree in multimedia. Pete took his technology skills to the dot com world before making the courageous leap to Nashville to formally pursue his music dreams. He came of age in the music industry as it was moving to digital recording and was able to capitalize on his passion and skill for technology.
In Nashville, Pete paid his dues, trading music gigs for website design and recording time for multimedia work. But Pete realized that staying in Nashville caused his sound to mimic other country music artists so he headed home to Sonoma County. Today, Pete splits his time between Nashville, Santa Rosa and wherever his next creative interest lies.
Over the years, Pete built a brand to represent his diverse interests using his name as an acronym: “P” for performer, “E” for entertainer “T” for technologist and “E” for evangelist. An actor, recording artist, creative director and multimedia expert, Pete’s skills have been utilized in formats from writing and performing hit songs, producing spots for Target and now, currently acting in a Ford commercial in the local Bay area. Pete has written and produced original songs for over 70 movies and television shows, including Meet the Parents, Matchstick Men, Next Friday, The Simpsons, Judging Amy and CSI: Miami.
“At the end of the day, I wear 20 hats – record producer, songwriter, multimedia director. I believe in creating innovative and entertaining experiences for others in multiple verticals.” Watch Pete's TEDx talk to learn why "Music Makes Me Tick".
With music his core passion, Pete has opened for country music giants including Merle Haggard, Randy Travis, Clint Black, and Dierks Bentley as well as headlined his own dates. He also won the prestigious Discovery Award in Music Row Magazine in 2006. “My focus is to innovate country music while keeping true to the traditional roots of the music. I don’t forget where home is in country music.”
A dad to three boys and husband to his high school sweetheart, Pete lives by a golden rule he credits to “Pistol Pete” Maravich: You can’t wish your way to the top. “If you don’t take your dreams and make them goals, you won’t make them happen. I try to get as much in as I can every single day because tomorrow something could change my life forever.”
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