Alex Stephens was born to make music, and his living room can attest to that.
There is a small bust of Beethoven, his grandfather's saxophone and his guitar in one corner of his living room. His first clarinet and his grandfather's violin hang on the wall above. Several of his father's guitars line the wall along with a mandolin and ukulele.
"I just love music," said the Huntington Beach resident. "It's in my blood."
The signature piece in the room is a black baby grand piano where Stephens, 23, picked out notes for an arrangement of "In the Glow of the Moon" that won him a national honor.
Stephens, a soon-to-be graduate of Cal State Long Beach's Bob Cole Conservatory of Music, was recognized by the national student publication DownBeat Magazine for the top jazz arrangement in the undergraduate category.
"It was pretty shocking," he said. "I wasn't expecting to get first."