Hosted by composer Abbie Betinis, our popular Courtroom Concerts take place at noon most Thursdays in the Landmark Center in downtown Saint Paul. This series features accomplished musicians and composers from the Twin Cities and surrounding area, as well as occasional musical newcomers to the area. These one-hour concerts are free and open to the public.
About the Artists:
A native of Muscatine, IA, Juan Carlos Mendoza has made a name for himself as a soloist, choral singer, and educator over the past decade.
He has been seen on stage in the dual roles of Aarón/Javier in the world premiere of Tienda (Moya/Vincent) produced by The Schubert Club, Freddy in My Fair Lady with the Muscatine Symphony Orchestra, and Tigranes in the North American premiere of La Doriclea (Cavalli) at The Juilliard School. His concert works include The Messiah (Handel) with the Des Moines Community Orchestra, Magnificat (Bach), Ascension Oratorio (Bach) Requiem (Mozart), and Passio (Pärt) with the Chamber Singers of Iowa City, Bolts of Melody (Ford) with the Grinnell Symphony Orchestra, and a featured soloist in El Mesias (Handel/Ramirez) with Border CrosSing/Minnesota Orchestra.
As an ensemble singer, Mendoza has sung with Transept, Lyric Opera of Chicago Chorus, Grant Park Music Festival Chorus, and Border CrosSing. As a recitalist, he regularly performs throughout the Midwest, programming the Spanish-language vocal music of Latin America, including composers such as Manuel M. Ponce, Salvador Moreno, and Carlos Guastavino. His research of this repertoire led to the production of his debut album with pianist Jessica Monnier, Finding A Voice: Mexican Song Cycles After 1920 (MSR Classics MS 1772), which highlights song cycles from México following the Mexican Revolution. He also premiered Masefield Songs, a song cycle for Tenor and Piano on poems of John Masefield by Thomas F. Savoy, which he also recorded for the composer’s album, Songs by Me- for You: A Selection of Art Songs by Thomas F. Savoy.
As an educator, Mendoza has served on the voice faculties of Augustana College, Drake University, Kirkwood Community College, Knox College, and Monmouth College. He currently serves as Assistant Professor of Voice and Opera at the University of South Dakota where he teaches applied voice, diction, song literature, and directs and produces the fall operas. He has also presented/co-presented at USD’s Choral Directors Institute and the NATS Central Region Conference. He serves as the Education Director of Source Song Festival, a week-long art song festival in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Mendoza received a Doctor of Musical Arts and Master of Arts degree from The University of Iowa, a Bachelor of Music degree from The Juilliard School, and attended the Aspen Music Festival and School in 2010 and 2012. He is also a member of the American Guild of Musical Artists (AGMA) and the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS).
For more information, please visit https://www.jcmendozatenor.com/.
Diane Van Den Oever recently completed 6 years as a staff collaborative pianist for the University of South Dakota Music Department. A student of Dr. Susan Keith Gray, she earned a Masters in Collaborative Piano in December of 2021. Diane serves as the principal organist at the United Congregational Church in Vermillion and works with the Vermillion Children’s Choir, under the direction of Gretchen Burbach. Prior to her work in Vermillion, Diane taught Spanish classes (University of Sioux Falls and University of South Dakota) for over 15 years, organizing and leading study abroad experiences in Mexico, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Peru, and Spain. In Sioux Falls, she served as the principal organist at Calvary Episcopal Cathedral in Sioux Falls for many years. While officially retired, she enjoys performing duo and trio music with talented friends, hosting music salon parties, and collaborating in lecture recitals.