Alan's Story

My Life in Jam Pak
Alan Francisco Dominguez Moreno

Alan joined Jam Pak when he was seven years old and in the second grade. As has been my experience several times with Jam Pak, we had so many children that I couldn't think of taking one more. But here was this little boy waiting outside for his brother, Jorge, to finish Jam Pak practice. Alan seems born to play guitar. The older Jam Pak members (including Carlos Saldana, Neil, Francisco Briseno, and Thalia Arviso) taught him how to play. But mostly, he learned by watching and listening. He also has found his voice and can sing lead. Now at eleven years of age and in the fifth grade, he's a great student, plays good trumpet in the school band, plays soccer, and is a fine friend to everyone. His brother, Jorge (some will remember his good mandolin play-ing), has returned to Mexico but still plays his mandolin every day. The gift of music is not lost or forgotten.
Anni Beach

My name is Alan Francisco Dominguez Moreno and I have been here in the US for four years. I'll never forget how I joined Jam Pak. It all started like this: One day, so he decided to take me. When we got there, I stayed outside in the heat while my mom told my brother Jorge to pick me up from school. But Jorge had Jam Pak practice, Jorge was in-side having an amazing time. Then Mrs. Beach went outside to see if anyone else was coming and she saw me. At first she didn't know who I was, but then I told her that I was Jorge's little brother. So she invited me into her house.
While I was in Mrs. Beach's house, my brother asked why I was in there and I told him that Mrs. Beach let me in. He offered me some food but I said that I wasn't hungry. So he just told me to stay seated and that’s what I did. Mrs. Beach then called on Jorge and had a talk with him. After Mrs. Beach had that talk with Jorge, she told me to sit in the back row and be quiet or sing. Throughout the whole practice I sat doing nothing. When practice was over, Mrs. Beach asked me what kind of instrument I wanted to play and I said, “guitar”.

Mrs. Beach gave me a weird-shaped guitar, but I played it. I played it for about a year and then I switched to another one. The guitar I play now is a Silvertone from the 1940’s. I like how it feels and sounds. After many years of being in this amazing band I got a trophy for learning my seven bluegrass songs and another one for learning my seven blue-grass skills. I seemed to learn how to play pretty fast, so I joined with three other Jam Pak kids and made a band called The Young and Restless. Then I got the amazing chance to play lead guitar in the Cabin John band with How-ard Anderson, Thalia Arviso, and Mrs. Beach. One of my best things yet was to be invited to play a couple of songs with James Reams and The Barnstormers. That was at Fiddler's Dream Coffee House last November.

I have a lot of fun being in Jam Pak — performing, teaching the other kids, and just hanging out. There's always lots to do. And I want to say thank you to everyone who helps with our music.