2019 Audition and Camp Information


Welcome to the Sacramento Mandarins Drum & Bugle Corps. We are glad you have chosen to take a look at our program. We are looking forward to celebrating our 56th Anniversary in 2019! Our audition and experience camp dates are announced below.

Mandarins Facebook Interest Groups are also available as sources of information:

Please contact the appropriate caption for audition information if you're unable to find what you need in the website.

2019 Audition/Experience/Corps Camp Dates & Locations

Camp Date Details Location
Mar 15-17

Brass Camp overnight

Smedberg Middle School
8239 Kingsbridge Dr
Sacramento, CA
Apr 26-28 Full Corps overnight To be announced
May 24
Spring Training move-in
To be announced

February 15, 2019 Brass Camp Schedule to be announced

Fri 3/15 Smedberg Middle School, 8239 Kingsbridge Dr, Sacramento
5:00 pm Move-In
6:00 Registration / Check-In
7:00 Block 1
11:00 Announcements
11:15 Snack / Shower
12:30 am Lights Out
Sat 3/16  
7:30 am Breakfast
8:30 Block 2
12:30 pm Lunch
1:30 Block 3
5:30 Dinner
6:30 Block 4
10:30 Snack / Shower
12:00 am Lights Out
Sun 3/17  
7:00 Breakfast
8:00 Block 5
11:00 Lunch
12:00 pm Block 6
3:00 Load & Clean
4:30 Out of Facility

Online Registration is available here.

Latest Camp Schedules/Intinerary on the Mandarins e-Calendar

The Mandarins Shuttle Request form is available here, if you need shuttle service between the Sacramento airport (SMF) and camp. The cost is $20. Please contact our Transportation Coordinator, Alice Swift (aka Geema) at 619-400-9992 if your have questions about the shuttle. As soon as you book your flight, fill out the form if applicable.

Auditions for the 2019 Season, Handbook, and Forms

During the winter months we are conducting open auditions for all positions in the Mandarins. If you have an interest in marching for a World Class drum corps, you have found the right spot. This year we will be holding auditions in Sacramento and the Southern California area.

Auditions will begin in late November (see above for dates & locations). If you are cannot attend one of these sessions, we allow you to submit an audition video through a DVD, YouTube, or other media. However, priority will be given to those attending rehearsals and camps. For detailed information as to what needs to be submitted on the video, please contact the appropriate Caption Manager.

Audition Camp signup information is located here.

If you are auditioning for the Percussion section, please see the Mandarins 2019 Percussion Audition Packet here.

If there are questions of a more general nature, please contact JW Koester, Corps Director. Or, review our 2019 Membership Handbook. You can also download a pdf version here.

Our Program

We have a fantastic program planned for our 56th year. This year we will be touring Northern California, Southern California and then make our way across the entire United States including participation in major DCI (Drum Corps International) events in San Antonio, TX, Atlanta, GA and Allentown, PA.. In total we are expecting to travel to over 35 states on our national tour.

As a member you will instantly become a family member of the Mandarins. You will eat, sleep, rehearse and travel with well over 154 of your new best friends. You will have a quality experience both on and off the field, enjoying some of the best food in the entire drum corps community.

Persons who are between 16 and 21 (if you turn 22 on or after June 1, 2019, you are eligible for the 2019 season) are eligible to audition.

How Do I Sign Up to Audition? It's easy! Simply follow the instructions here.

What Happens if I am Offered Membership in the Mandarins? IMPORTANT!!! If you have been offered a position in the Corps you must take care of your paperwork and membership payments confirming your acceptance of your contract offer immediately. Complete and submit online the following form with the appropriate signatures where indicated.

Mandarins Fee Payment Form

2019 Membership packets (including the handbook) will be available at the pre-audition clinics, all camps and rehearsals, and are also downloadable. If you have any questions about the application process or fees, contact our director, JW Koester.

What Do I Need to Bring to the NorCal or SoCal Overnight Camps?
  • A positive attitude and willingness to learn.
  • All musicians: three ring binder with plastic sleeves and a pencil.
  • Change of clothes for the weekend. Plan to dress in layers. It will be warm in the gym. Since we are in California, where the climate is good, we will also likely be outside, so you will need to have warm clothes for that as well.
  • Comfortable marching shoes.
  • (Note: all meals will be provided for the entire weekend).
  • Sleeping bag, air mattress, pillow, toothbrush, toothpaste and other toiletries, towel, shower shoes or slippers.
  • Your own instrument / guard equipment (in particular brass) if possible, to ensure you have something to use throughout the audition weekends.
What Do I Need to Bring to the 1-day Texas brass only Camps?
  • A positive attitude and willingness to learn.
  • Three ring binder with plastic sleeves and a pencil.
  • Plan to dress in layers. If the weather is good we may spend part of the day outside.
  • Comfortable marching shoes.
  • Your own brass instrument as the corps will not provide instruments.
What Are You Looking For When I Audition?

Auditions will give the staff an idea of your music, marching, movement, and equipment handling skills. Think of your first rehearsal as a chair placement for an honor band rather than an "audition."

We will also be looking at several other factors, including:

  • Positive attitude.
  • Work ethic.
  • Commitment to effort.
  • Ability to focus and follow directions.
  • Ability to learn exercises.
  • Ability to process information and instruction and apply it to exercises.
  • Ability to handle constructive criticism in a positive manner.
  • Interaction with other audionees.
  • Ability to attend all camps and move into Spring Training in the Sacramento area on May 24, 2019 (some flexibility is allowed due to school commitments but this IS our expectation).

In addition to an audition in a rehearsal setting, each prospective member will also be interviewed by the appropriate caption head.

Our marching member Code of Conduct can be found here. This will give you an idea of our organization's expectation for its members.

Oh yes, in case you think we forgot to mention this: enjoy yourself! Stay positive and don't lose sight of your goals and objectives. You are here because you enjoy doing this, and the staff does recognize your effort in coming to be here with us.

Commitment, dedication, and teamwork are the cornerstones of our organization. The Mandarins are rich with 55 years of tradition and pride. We encourage your participation, and look forward to seeing you soon.

“This is long overdue, but I just wanted to share my gratitude towards Mandarins and everyone that's involved in it. I feel blessed to have been part of something so special. I never thought that I'd be able to feel the way I did after quarterfinals/semifinals because I couldn't stop smiling after those shows. When you feel like giving up, just remember to hold your head up high and be proud of what you do. We've all literally poured our blood, sweat, and tears into this show. I've met the most amazing, talented, and kind hearted young adults. Although we've gone our separate ways, I'm constantly reminded that Mandarins will always be my home. I'm glad that I chose to age out with Mandarins, and I feel honored to be an alumni. I hope to see everyone again in the future. Until then, just remember...........GET IT! – Van Anh Tran”