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Juan Carlos Mendoza Named Winner of Guitar Center's 24th Annual Drum-Off

The Middle School Band Director will Receive Career Altering Endorsement Deals, Gear and Cash in a Grand Prize Package Valued at Over $50,000

WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif., Jan. 22, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Guitar Center is excited to announce Juan Carlos Mendoza from Perth Amboy, NJ as the winner of Guitar Center's Drum-Off, the 24th annual search for the next great undiscovered drummer. The competition kicked off in August attracting more than 4,000 drummers across the country to enter the world's premier drum competition. This past Saturday's Grand Finals closed out the competition with a night full of riveting, high-energy performances as the five finalists vied for the coveted title of Guitar Center's Drum-Off Champion.


About The Winner: Classically trained in a wide variety of instruments, Juan Carlos Mendoza received his BA in Music Education in 2004 and is currently pursuing his M.A in Music Education while serving as the Band Director for William C. McGinnis Middle School in his hometown of Perth Amboy, NJ. A passionate music educator, Juan Carlos is well-loved and respected by peers and students alike. From a young age Juan Carlos Mendoza has been studying and performing the drums for over 20 years, competing in both as a soloist and with various drum corps. A second-time Drum-Off grand finalist, Juan previously made it to the stage in 2008 finishing just shy of the title. As a music instructor in his Northern New Jersey hometown, Juan Carlos was deeply affected by the nearby tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in December, moving him to dedicate his performance to the victims and their families. For added best wishes, McGinnis Middle School students and staff created a heartwarming "good luck" video, sent to Juan Carlos just before he took the stage. You can view the video here:

Watch Juan Carlos Mendoza's Winning Performance Here:

"My experience in this competition has been really humbling; I was honored just to be selected as a finalist because all of the contestants are awesome players and have become great friends," said Juan Carlos Mendoza. "Guitar Center's Drum Off has blessed me not only with a new audience but with amazing gear as well.  I feel truly privileged to be a part of this program."

During the finals at Club Nokia in Los Angeles, the five talented finalists shared the stage with live performances by world-renowned musicians including Pedrito Martinez, John Blackwell, Zigaboo Modeliste, Keith Carlock, Darren King and the legendary Steve Gadd who was honored at the event with an induction to Guitar Center's RockWalk. Judging the competition were notable drummers Adrian Young of No Doubt, Brooks Wackerman of Bad Religion, Ray Luzier of Korn and many more.

Guitar Center's Drum-Off Grand Prize Winner to Receive:

  • $25,000 Cash
  • Custom Drum Kit (winner's choice: Gretsch, OCDP, Tama, Pearl or DW)
  • Drum Kit Endorsement Deal (winner's choice: Gretsch, OCDP, Tama, Pearl, or DW)
  • Complete Set of Cymbals (winner's choice: Zildjian, Sabian, or Meinl)
  • Cymbal Endorsement Deal (winner's choice: Meinl, Zildjian, or Sabian)
  • Drumhead Endorsement Deal (winner's choice: Evans or Remo)
  • Stick Endorsement Deal (winner's choice: Pro-Mark or Vic Firth)
  • Shure Deluxe Drum Mic Pack
  • Roland TD-30KV Electronic Kit & PM30
  • Roland SPD-SX
  • Feature in Modern Drummer Magazine
  • 2013 NAMM VIP Experience

"Saturday night was a spirited competition between immensely talented musicians. We are thrilled with the inspired performances and celebration of musicianship exemplified by Juan and all of the finalists," said Maria Brown, Manager of Music and Entertainment Marketing for Guitar Center. "We are honored to be able to support these musicians in all that they do and look forward to continuing to support and provide them with tools to succeed and opportunities to be recognized for their talent."

Developed by the music retailer to inspire musicianship, provide an opportunity for exposure, and spotlight the drumming community, Guitar Center's Drum-Off furthers the brand's ongoing support of aspiring musicians. Truly a launching pad for professional drummers, past Drum-Off winners have gone on to play with Prince and Beyonce (Cora Coleman-Dunham), The Mars Volta (Thomas Pridgen), and Jay-Z (Tony Royster Jr.).

Guitar Center Drum-Off is presented by: DW, Pro-Mark, Orange County Drum & Percussion, LP, Meinl, Roland, Gretsch, Pearl, Modern Drummer, Shure, Vic Firth, Zildjian, DW, Sabian, Remo, Tama, Evans

About Guitar Center
Guitar Center is the world's largest retailer of guitars, amplifiers, drums, keyboards and pro-audio and recording equipment. Our retail store subsidiary presently operates 230 Guitar Center stores across the U.S. We are also the largest direct response retailer of musical instruments in the United States through our wholly owned subsidiary, Musician's Friend, Inc., and its catalog and Web site, In addition, our Music & Arts division operates more than 100 stores specializing in band instruments for sale and rental, serving teachers, band directors, college professors and students. More information on Guitar Center can be found by visiting the Company's Web site at

SOURCE Guitar Center

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