Stuart's formal introduction to music began as a young child, when at age 7 he began formal piano instruction. It was not long thereafter that he began composing. At age 14, he submitted a composition in the Competition for Young Composers, a national program at that time. The work, entitled "The Children of Nations" was written for two pianos and two flutes. That work won first place among entries within the State of Arizona and was later performed in a recital at Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ. Numerous other compositions were selected as winning entries in various performing arts competitions. As a senior in High School, Stuart had the privilege of attending music theory and composition classes at the University of Arizona School of Music (Tucson, Arizona), and studied under the Composer in Resident. Following high school graduation, Stuart attended the University of Arizona School of Music. However, it was also a time his life that he felt a definite and distinct "call" to pursue Christian ministry. He and his wife entered full time ministry in 1982. Over the years, he continued to express himself musically through various venues: Christian bands, choir directorship, etc. As time allowed, he produced two CDs; Sentiments (1990), and O Israel (1999). His most recent work (3rd album), Remembrance - Those We Love, was released in 2014. Stuart and his wife presently serve as Pastors of "The Door" - Christian Fellowship in Vallejo, CA.
"Remembering those we love...those we've lost...and those who make life worth living"
Proceeds from Symphonic Poems purchases provides financial support to Into-Africa.org, a non-profit organization dedicated to impacting and improving life in Africa through education, medical assistance, and Christian outreach.
Remembrance, was inspired by the events surrounding the loss of our first grandchild, Benjamin "Lion-Heart-Ben" Cervantes. Ben was our daughter's first born child. From birth to 8 months of age, Ben seemed as normal as any other healthy baby. However, at that point, things shifted very suddenly, and for the next 2 years nothing was normal or healthy. Ben was diagnosed with Pulmonary Hypertension. It would be impossible to recount the multitude of experiences that my daughter and her husband endured as they worked together with medical teams at both the University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona; and specialists at Lucille Packard Children's Hospital Stanford, Palo Alto, California. The medical teams provided amazing care for Benjamin - and no doubt were responsible for saving his life on more than one occasion, but in the end, there were no solutions to the complexities surrounding Ben's little body. He passed away at Lucille Packard Children's Hospital on April 28, 2010, and was laid to rest in Tucson, Arizona on May 7. Ben was never able to walk, talk, or even eat normally. He received nourishment via a feeding tube that was inserted shortly after his initial diagnosis. Yet, in spite of his medical challenges, Ben had an amazing personality and a spirit bigger than life! We often commented about his amazing "talking eyes". He had the ability to change the environment of any room he entered. It is impossible to understand why things like this happen...but they sometimes do. I am humbled at the character, strength, and faith of my daughter and son-in-law. They were amazing parents and continue to be amazing individuals. I realize there are thousands of other families that have had to endure similar situations. My heart goes out to you! This album, Remembrance, contains songs of remembrance, and is dedicated to our beloved grandson, Ben - and to a second grandson, Michael Reblin, whose death in the womb (about 18 months following Ben's death) came as the result of the umbilical cord becoming entangled around his neck. Beyond these specific and personal events, the reality of life is that we have all endured the loss of someone we've loved and cared about very deeply. This collection of Symphonic Poems tells the story of love, loss, hurt, and healing. It is my hope and prayer that those who have endured the agony of loss would find comfort and strength through these selections.
(A special thanks to my sound engineer Michael Peterson at Harvest Moon Studios; and my mastering engineer Ken Lee at Ken Lee Mastering, for their outstanding work in producing this very special album.)
Symphonic Poems is an official member of the Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Champions for Children Program. Proceeds from every Symphonic Poems purchase will also be directed to benefit LPCH Stanford in their continued commitment to provide the finest pediatric medicine possible.
Benjamin Michael Cervantes
8/28/2007 - 4/28/2010