Mandarins Music Academy Honor Band

The Mandarins Music Academy Honor Band performed in concert at our March Brass Camp. Comprised of 47 young musicians in grades 4th-6th, the Honor Band delighted families and friends with their repertoire. The Mandarins Music Academy, a vision of Mandarins President and CEO Jim Tabuchi, began two years ago with one elementary school and seven students, to give the gift of music to youngsters who might not otherwise be able to learn to play a music instrument, due to the reductions in music education programs in public schools. Today, the Mandarins Music Academy provides after-school music education to 150 students, at 11 elementary schools, in three different school districts.

We believe that instrumental music delivers numerous benefits when provided to students early in age. Research studies have confirmed that students achieve higher test scores, have better attendance, and have a social grouping in school; some have even said that music helps to shape the young brain.

Learn more about the Mandarins Music Academy and view the Honor Band concert here.

We wish to acknowledge support from the Arata Family Trust • Dennis Manger Fund • Sacramento Region Community Foundation • California Arts Council • Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission • KHS Instruments (Jupiter, Mapex, Majestic) • Elk Grove Unified School District • Sacramento City Unified School District • San Juan Unified School District

Marching Music Day 2019 - March Forth!

In honor of dedicated musicians and performers of many diverse styles and backgrounds, Marching Music Day celebrates all varieties of the art forms bringing us “music on the move.” Drum Corps International founded Marching Music Day to celebrate and share marching music as an engaging and ever-expanding art form around the world, and to help celebrate Music In Our Schools Month.

#MarchingMusicDay means we're only 107 days away from the start of the 2019 DCI Tour! Check out where we'll be stopping this summer, in our Tour Schedule here.

An Update From Corps Director JW Koester

Well, another month, another Mandarins Drum & Bugle Corps camp and another good one. Actually two camps! The brass section met in Northern California over Presidents' weekend to work on fundamentals for both music and visual, to work on show music (Oh yeah!), and to work on blending their team of veterans and new members into a cohesive team while the percussion section met in Southern California on Monday, Presidents' Day to drum on exercises and show music (Did I already say oh yeah?). Yes, the 2019 production continues to develop as music, drill, choreography, uniforms, costumes, flags and props all continue to progress forward towards our first performance in June. That performance is the Mandarins Family Day which will be held on Saturday, June 15th, location is TBD. We expect to have the full show on the field for our friends and family to view and to cheer on the home team! In addition, we continue the work to lock in our spring training housing locations.

Our Health & Wellness team continues to push forward with their work with the corps. They are also working behind the scenes in preparation of their summertime support of the corps. Yep, we are working to have professional medical-level coverage for all of spring training and tour - and that is quite the daunting task. Dr. Dan, Kim, and their team of professionals are absolutely up to making it happen.

Our next camp for the brass section is March 15-17 in the Sacramento area and after that, once WGI (Winter Guard International) is done, our full corps will once again be together for the April 26-28 camp, also in the Sacramento area. Drum corps spring training move-in day is Friday, May 24th!

Other news - some of you may have heard that our transportation provider of the past several years (Silverado Coach Lines) recently filed for bankruptcy and is no longer in operation. So, I am extremely pleased to announce that we have entered into a relationship with Village Tours from Wichita, KS. Last year (2018) Village provided the instructional staff’s entertainer bus and the experience was quite successful for both partners. I reached out to them regarding 2019 and after working with their Operations Manager, Mr. Ivan Moore, we were able to complete an agreement that is equally positive for both parties. So, we will have the same black entertainer bus for the instructional staff plus three “sister” silver charter buses for the corps members to travel in all summer long.

And yes, all four buses will be in California prior to the first competition in Clovis, CA on June 21st! Our entertainer driver will be “El” who rejoins us from 2018 and our members just might see another familiar face behind the wheel of one of their buses.

Speaking of transportation - this year we will operate three semi-tractor trailer vehicles: 1) Mushu, our mobile kitchen 2) The Dragon, our equipment trailer 3) Our new, yet-to-be-named prop trailer. As our props and other equipment needs have grown we believe that the most economical and safest way to transport all of our “extra” equipment and props is to lease a trailer so we aren’t placing undue strain on our existing fleet. We are also revisiting our lead vehicle and support staff transportation requirements as well as our souvenir transportation needs. So, once again we have many, many tasks going on every single day as we push towards summertime. If you have some free time this summer and you want to spend some of it on the road with the corps we still have multiple non-commercial driving spots available.

So please contact Keith Sanpei or me to get more information about this very exciting aspect of the drum corps tour!

Corps Director

Mandarins Birthday Bash

The second annual Mandarins Birthday Bash, celebrating 56 years this year, will be held April 27, 2019 at Rosemont High School, 9594 Kiefer Blvd in Sacramento. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. Tickets can be purchased online for $30 per person. We will be honoring our 2019 Hall of Fame inductees. In addition, our Mandarins Alumni Brass will perform as well as we will be getting a preview of the Mandarins Drum and Bugle Corps 2019 program. Come out and celebrate with us! Ticket sales are limited this year so purchase yours early!

Our one-of-a-kind Manda Bear will be raffled off that evening. If you aren't able to make it to the celebration you can still purchase Manda Bear raffle tickets online and support the Mandarins!

Purchase Birthday Bash tickets here, and Manda Bears raffle tickets here.

One Step Closer to Our Dream!

We have just received word that our offer to purchase the Mandarins Music Center has been accepted!!! It is a beautiful 12,000 square foot building that will serve as the Mandarins Corps Hall, Event/Bingo Center, Music Studio and Warehouse...all under one roof! This building is perfect for us as it has glass windows on three sides, freeway exposure for visibility, a huge parking lot, and a roll up door for our warehouse. We have been eyeing this building for years and coincidentally it is the same building that was used for our conceptual illustration. Now more than ever we are actively seeking donations to help us make the down payment on our Mandarins Music Center. Please donate here to help make this Mandarins dream come true!

Mandarins Hall of Fame

The Sacramento Mandarins Hall of Fame was established in 2018 to help perpetuate the memory of the special people who have brought honor to the Mandarins and who can serve as role models for present and future generations. The Mandarins Hall of Fame is accepting nominations this year until March 2, 2019. Announcements of the new class of inductees will occur shortly thereafter, with the induction ceremony occurring at the annual Mandarins Birthday Bash in April.

To submit a nomination, please tap/click here for the nomination form.

New Year Update from Corps Director JW Koester

Greetings All! The audition camps have been completed. They were successful in every measurable category. More amazing young musicians attended than ever before in the Mandarins history. Excellent information was provided to all the auditionees by the instructional staff. The food was delicious and on time (as always.) You go volunteers! The drivers and admin teams ran their operations smooth as silk. And the weather cooperated!

Then came the challenging part as we had many, many more auditionees than we can accept into our 154 membership limit. So, staff had to evaluate and provide ratings for every person so I could then email out a membership, a callback offer, or a decline letter. Not a fun job at all but one of the many jobs that must be done in order to identify the right 154 people to become a part of the 2019 Mandarins Drum and Bugle Corps. And what a drum corps I think it is going to be this coming year! The talent and experience levels are higher than previous years. Certainly, a Top 10 finish this past summer hasn’t hurt us in that regard. Quite the opposite – many more people are looking at us as their first and only destination – which in my opinion is very cool.

Next up, our brass and percussion camp January 18-20, 2019 at Rosemont High School in Sacramento. You might want to swing by at some point. And you might, just might hear some of the 2019 show music (Don’t say I told you so.) Yes, the design team is deep into the process, brass music is being arranged/composed, and percussion music is right behind. Visual concepts are already on paper as are the new props ideas. Tour housing locations continue to get locked in and the same for summertime drivers. Our Health and Wellness Team continues to develop their processes and to recruit more talented team members to be active at camps and throughout the summer. So, no, not much of a slowing down for the holidays or for the winter. We are truly transitioning into a 24/7/12 (full-time, year-round) drum corps.

And, I have been working with the Mandarins Academy/Leadership co-directors to offer some new camps for our non-drum corps members and friends. So yes, the exciting times continue in that area of our business as well.

On the Drum Corps International (DCI) front, in mid-January some of the instructional staff and I (and Jim Tabuchi, executive director) will journey to Indianapolis, IN (I know, really, in winter?!!!) to attend the DCI annual meetings where new rules, regulations, and other fun items will be discussed, debated, and sometimes even voted upon. I know you have heard it before, however, I’ll say it again. We can’t do all these amazing things without your support! It can be a single day. It can be an entire summer. It can be anything in-between. But it must be!

I know you are all busy but coming out to see these young people doing amazing things every day and knowing that you are helping them – it is a great feeling. So, contact us and say “I’m available. Sign me up!” I promise you won’t regret it.

New Products Coming to Mandarins Marketplace

The Mandarins Marketplace will be offline at 6:00 pm on Thursday December 6, until 6:00 pm Friday, December 7. And next week we'll be adding new products for the 2019 season, just in time for your holiday shopping.

Help Us Build the Mandarins Music Center

Dear Mandarins Alumni, Families and Fandarins,

The Mandarins are about to make the most strategic investment in our 55+ year history. We are looking to purchase a building that will be called the "Mandarins Music Center." We have an opportunity for you to recognize what the Mandarins has done for you personally and for what we can do for generations to come. We are seeking your donations immediately to help toward the down payment of this purchase.

The new Mandarins Music Center will become the first-ever, permanent home for the Mandarins. The vision is for this building to be the Mandarins Corps Hall, Bingo Center, Warehouse, Music Academy, event center and rehearsal facility - all in one place! Today we operate from a PO Box, home offices/bedrooms, spare garage spaces, a warehouse, a bingo hall, a separate storage space and have no Mandarins phone number or physical address.

In just the recent past, we have transformed from a respected drum corps serving 60 kids to become a recognized World Class DCI Finalist Corps, placing 10th in the World! We are also one of the region's most visible performing arts non-profit organizations, offering a wide-span of programs that serve over 1000 kids per year. Our Mandarins Music Center will provide us with the foundation to propel us well into the future.

Why now? We have a sense of urgency because our lease is expiring in less than a year on our current Mandarins Bingo Hall. One option is to renew our lease and pay an exorbitant amount to a landlord where we end up with nothing. BUT we have the perfect opportunity to save a significant amount of money by paying much less for a mortgage than our current rent. AND our money will go toward purchasing our own building and creating a permanent home for the Mandarins. Just like many of you have realized, owning a home provides many advantages over renting one. The same holds true for the Mandarins.

Our challenge is to raise $100,000 in donations by the end of this year. We know that this is an audacious goal. We also believe that this is an opportunity for you to give back to the Mandarins Family that has so positively impacted your life. Any donation of any size will be gladly accepted. And for donations of $1,000 or more, we will permanently recognize your contribution with an engraved brick in the wall. This is also the perfect opportunity to designate your donation in memorial to a special loved one. All donations are tax deductible and can be simply made by clicking here:

As always, thank you for your support for the Mandarins today and into the future!

Best regards,
Jim Tabuchi
Executive Director
Sacramento Mandarins
Mandarins Alum '79, '80, '81

Visual Caption Manager Joseph Hayes Brings Talented Educators

The Mandarins are thrilled to welcome back Visual Caption Manager, Joseph Hayes. Hayes is bringing in a team of visual instructors that will catapult the Mandarins to new heights. During his first year as Visual Caption Manager in 2018, Joseph brought the corps to another level focusing heavily on the education and quality experience for the members, and will continue to do so in the 2019 season. “I am incredibly grateful to teach alongside this phenomenal group of well rounded experienced educators,” says Hayes. “We’ve brought some amazing instructors back and added some new faces to the mix. As a visual team, we strive to uphold the quality of the technique and mechanics program as well as push the boundaries of creativity and innovation every step of the way. This team will hit the ground running and bring the Mandarins to new heights in 2019.”

Program Director Ike Jackson has a lot of faith in the returning visual staff. “I'm extremely excited to have Joseph Hayes on board this year as our Visual Caption Manager,” says Jackson. “Last year Joseph took on a humongous task for our organization and showed himself to be a force to be reckoned with in the visual world of drum corps. This year with his team, I believe that this will be the strongest visual program that this organization has ever had.”

Corps Director JW Koester is looking forward to the brighter future for the Mandarins. “The visual team was outstanding in 2018 and they absolutely earned the right to return in 2019 to continue their high level of excellence while training the 2019 corps to achieve at the next level of competition,” Koester explains. “I am confident that Joseph and his team will continue to hold the corps to a higher standard as the design team provides even greater challenges and opportunities for 2019.”

The Mandarins 2019 Visual Staff is composed of Joseph Hayes, Visual Caption Manger; and Visual Technicians Robert Boucher, Ted Chang, Nicole Davis, Kevin Harrell, Chris Huebschle, Justin Mons, Sena Narottama, Jonathan Victorino, and Alex Wallace.

2019 Season Auditions Begin in California and Texas (Brass)

If you would like to march with the 2019 Mandarins, the first 2019 audition camps will begin in November and December. For a full 2019 audition schedule and a list of all staff bios, visit

The Sacramento Mandarins for the first time in the corps' 55-year history achieved its highest ranking, finishing 10th in Drum Corps International Finals Competition. The Mandarins are proud to have impacted the lives of thousands of youth, teaching them the values of respect, leadership, discipline, and good citizenship with a true sense of purpose.

Download a copy of the Press Release here.

Mandarins Bring Unified Energy with 2019 Percussion Staff

The Mandarins are excited to announce their Percussion team, consisting of new and returning faces of some of the most influential instructors and designers in the marching activity. The percussion caption will continue to be headed by Caption Manager Darren VanDerpoel.

Corps Director JW Koester is excited to continue the momentum from the 2018 season. “After a successful 2018 season I am looking forward to see the 2019 percussion team in action. Darren has assembled a strong staff to push the percussion section to greater heights in 2019,” stated Koester. “The percussion section has an opportunity to build on last years’ achievements and I believe that the percussion members will benefit greatly from the experience and talent of the 2019 staff.”

Percussion Caption Manager Darren VanDerpoel is also enthralled to return for the 2019 season. “I am excited to have back several of our talented staff members for the 2019 season, as well as welcome in some new faces to our percussion team at the Mandarins. Going into the new season I feel our team is becoming stronger and more cohesive. There is a unified energy and fire to build upon the success of the last two seasons and set new records for the Mandarins,” says VanDerpoel.

The Mandarins 2019 Percussion Staff is composed of: Darren VanDerpoel; Percussion Caption Manager / Battery Arranger; Jazper Saldana, Front Ensemble Manager; Dalia Berman, Front Ensemble Tech; Jimmy Nguyen, Front Ensemble Tech; Connie Truong, Front Ensemble Tech; Jonathan Wicks, Battery Manager / Tenor Tech; Rudy Arzaga, Percussion Advisor; Chris Cyr, Visual Instructor / Ensemble Consultant; Richard Ramos, Battery Manager / Snare Tech; Chris Morales, Snare Tec; Zachary Watson, Snare Tech; Zakk Hollander, Tenor Tech; Shubham Gupta, Tenor Tech, Otto Peralta, Bass Tech; Elliot Duran, Bass Tech; and Vanessa Ramos, Bass Tech.

2019 Season Auditions Begin in California

If you would like to play a part in the Mandarins 2019 Percussion section, the first 2019 audition camps will begin in November and December in California. For a full 2019 audition schedule and a list of all staff bios, visit

The Sacramento Mandarins for the first time in the corps' 55-year history achieved its highest ranking, finishing 10th in Drum Corps International Finals Competition. The Mandarins are proud to have impacted the lives of thousands of youth, teaching them the values of respect, leadership, discipline, and good citizenship with a true sense of purpose.

Download a copy of the Press Release here.

Sacramento County Board of Supervisors Presents Resolution

The Sacramento County Board of Supervisors issued a County Resolution commending the Mandarins’ achievement as one of the Top 10 Drum and Bugle Corps in the world and also for enriching students in the Sacramento region. Supervisor Phil Serna recognized the tremendous amount of hard work that goes into the Mandarins, and he thanked all of the volunteers and staff for their contributions. Photo left-to-right: Supervisor Patrick Kennedy; Mandarins Executive Director Jim Tabuchi; Honorable Jimmie Yee, former Sacramento Mayor, City Councilmember, and Sacramento County Board of Supervisors Chairman; and Mandarins Entertainment Director Joe Fong.

AmazonSmile Increases Donation Rate 10x from Oct 29-Nov 2

AmazonSmile has donated over $100 million to charities around the world -- including the Sacramento Mandarins! To celebrate, AmazonSmile has launched its biggest bonus donation to date -- 5% for 5 days!. From October 29 through November 2, AmazonSmile donates 5% -- ten times the usual rate, on all eligible purchases. Tap/Click here to login to your AmazonSmile account and support the Mandarins. #AmazonSmile #StartWithaSmile

2019 Color Guard Staff - Tradition of Visual Creativity

Mandarins Continue Tradition of Visual Creativity with their 2019 Color Guard Staff.

We are pleased to announce the Mandarins 2019 Color Guard Staff with a focus on continuing the tradition of visual creativity. Once again leading the color guard team will be returning Color Guard Caption Manager Mario Ramirez.

Program Coordinator Ike Jackson stated, “I’m extremely proud that joining us again this year will be our Creative Director and Color Guard Caption Manager Mario Ramirez. His creative team was monumental in our success the last two years and I’m excited to see what their creative expertise and experience will bring to our team again this year.”

As the Creative Director, Mario Ramirez states that he “is thrilled to continue his journey with such a passionate group of designers and educators. As well as helping to lead the Mandarins to new heights, continue to explore our identity and maximize our theatrical show productions.”

Corps Director JW Koester shared his views that “The Mandarins Color Guard was one of the strongest sections in the corps in 2018. We are pleased to have our color guard staff returning to bring our 2019 show to life.”

Color Guard Caption Manager and Choreographer Mario Ramirez further commented, “I am very excited to be back with the Mandarins in 2019. I have worked with the members of this guard staff for years. We are looking forward to creating another memorable and powerful show full of artistry and excitement for our performers and fans this season.”

The Mandarins 2019 Color Guard Staff is composed of Mario Ramirez, Guard Caption Manager / Choreographer / Designer; Brandi Ramirez, Guard Consultant / Lead Tech; Chris Cordova, Guard Tech; Manny Ruiz, Guard Tech; Keila Crook, Guard Tech; Jorge Chanax, Guard Tech; and Jasmine Ibarra, Guard Tech.

2019 Season Auditions Begin in California

If you would like to play a part in the Mandarins 2019 Color Guard, the first 2019 audition camps will begin in November and December in California. For a full 2019 audition schedule and a list of all staff bios, visit

The Sacramento Mandarins for the first time in the corps' 55-year history achieved its highest ranking, finishing 10th in Drum Corps International Finals Competition. The Mandarins are proud to have impacted the lives of thousands of youth, teaching them the values of respect, leadership, discipline, and good citizenship with a true sense of purpose.

Download a copy of the Press Release here.

Mandarins Staff Up for Brass Educational Excellence

We are pleased to announce the Mandarins 2019 Brass Staff with a focus on Brass Educational Excellence. Once again leading this team will be returning Brass Caption Manager Tim Snyder.

Corps Director JW Koester shared his views that “The Mandarins 2018’s brass staff was exceptional in their educational approach to teaching brass. They were able to convey the right message at the right time as they taught the members their fundamentals and show music. Tim and his team have earned the opportunity to take the brass line to even higher levels of excellence in 2019."

Snyder commented, “I'm extremely fortunate to have these talented educators here at the Mandarins. Our brass team embraces the tradition of excellence we are striving to achieve. The Mandarins brass staff is composed of dedicated, selfless individuals, committed to growing our brass membership through an educationally based philosophy rich in drum corps tradition mixed with current trends in educational philosophy. Our entire team has a wealth of knowledge that spans decades in the activity. I'm proud to call them my friends, colleagues and mentors."

The Mandarins 2019 Brass Staff is composed of Tim Snyder, Brass Caption Manager; Aaron Wells, Brass Consultant; Seth Murphy, Brass Consultant; Patrick Keeley, Trumpet Tec; Connor Vaughn, Trumpet Tech; Brandt Mackinzey, Mellophone Tech; Christian DeJongh, Mellophone Tech; Carol Weirich, High Brass Intern; Shane Montoya, Euphonium Tech; Dexx Moore, Euphonium Tech; Jeremy Basso, Euphonium Tech; Gordon Janda, Tuba Tech; Mary Duerkop, Tuba Tech; Dan Herrick, Tuba Tech; Gabe Gallegos, Low Brass Intern; and Milt Gee, Brass Analytics Consultant.

As a former Mandarins brass player and instructor, I was treated first hand to experience the dramatic improvements in our brass quality of sound. I am excited to hear what this team can produce in 2019” stated Jim Tabuchi, Mandarins Executive Director.

2019 Season Auditions Begin in California and Texas (Brass)

The first 2019 audition camps will begin in November and December in California and Texas (Brass Only). For a full 2019 audition schedule and a list of all staff bios, visit

The Sacramento Mandarins for the first time in the corps' 55-year history achieved its highest ranking, finishing 10th in Drum Corps International Finals Competition. The Mandarins are proud to have impacted the lives of thousands of youth, teaching them the values of respect, leadership, discipline, and good citizenship with a true sense of purpose. Learn more at

Download a copy of this Press Release here.

2019 Design and Caption Manager Team

“Historic” Design and Caption Manager Team Returning for the 2019 Season

For the first time in their 55-year history the Mandarins achieved a Drum Corps International Finalist position, earning 10th place in the nation. Coming off this historic season, the Mandarins are excited to announce that the entire design and caption head team will return for the 2019 season.

Ike Jackson returning as the Mandarins Program Director stated, “I decided to have our full team return as I believe we all have the same vision and drive for the organization in its efforts to move forward. I feel the artistic ability that we possess is fun, innovative and absolutely entertaining for our performers and fans.”

The Design Team will again be composed of Ike Jackson as the Program Director; Mario Ramirez as the Creative Director, Choreographer and Designer; Key Poulan, Brass Arranger,; Darren VanDerpoel, Battery Arranger; Bryan Nungaray, Front Ensemble Arranger; Peter Beckhart, Drill Writer; and new to the team, Edward “Beno” Morris, Sound Consultant.

“In an era of frequent churn in sports and the arts, it is amazing to be able to maintain a continuous leadership team," commented JW Koester, Mandarins Corps Director. “Continuity, trust and camaraderie are some of the most important things you can have in developing a strong team,” noted Jackson.

The Caption Management Team will again be led by Darren VanDerpoel, Percussion Caption Manager; Tim Snyder, Brass Caption Manager; Mario Ramirez, Color Guard Caption Manager; and Joseph Hayes, Visual Caption Manager.

Jim Tabuchi, Mandarins Executive Director said, “In 2018, my objective for our leadership team was to maintain our Mandarins Values AND excel on the competitive field. Our team has done just that and I am looking forward to seeing what kind of magic they can create this season!”

2019 Season Auditions Begin in California and Texas (Brass)

The first 2019 audition camps will begin in November and December in California and Texas (Brass Only). For a full 2019 audition schedule and a list of all staff bios, visit

The Sacramento Mandarins for the first time in the corps 55 year history achieved its highest ranking, finishing 10th in Drum Corps International Finals Competition. The Mandarins are proud to have impacted the lives of thousands of youth, teaching them the values of respect, leadership, discipline, and good citizenship with a true sense of purpose.

Download a copy of this Press Release here.

2019 Mandarins Recruiting

Greetings All,

Registration for the 2019 season is live and we are actively recruiting new members from across the country to audition for the 2019 Mandarins! This year we have added two brass only one day audition camps in Texas (Dallas, Nov. 24th & Houston Nov. 25th) in addition to our regular NorCal audition/experience camp Nov 30 - Dec 2 (Sacramento area) and SoCal audition/experience camp Dec 15 - 16 (Pasadena area).

And how are we doing? Well, our Facebook Interest page already has over 1,100 members which is well above the 800 plus that we had at the end of last year's recruiting season. So yes, I think we’re doing okay. Of course, people have to register, then travel to one of our locations, and then demonstrate the talent and desire to be a part of the 2019 Mandarins because, let's face it, the design and technical teams are NOT going to sit back and rest on their laurels. Nope - ain’t goin’ to happen while I’m around. And they are already deep into the initial development of the new show concepts.

Late in October the design and caption managers will meet for a two day conference to finalize the show concept and start the detailed design - selection of music, pacing, colors, costume & uniform design ideas, etc. You get the idea. So yes, they are just as hungry and excited to get 2019 fully under way and, as they say - full steam ahead!

On the back side of the drum corps we are already working with DCI (Drum Corps International) on next year's tour and what shows we will attend. Bus contracts, semi-trucks & trailers leases, maintenance on the existing fleet, 2019 budget review and approval, and a whole host of other tasks are already in progress because move-in’s (May 24th) is only eight months away!!!

Busy? You bet.
Exciting? Indeed.
And FUN? Absolutely!!

FInd audition and registration info here, And don't forget to sign up on Facebook for our Interest Groups to keep yourself informed!

Take Care,
Corps Director

A Season to Remember

Greetings all,

Okay, time to take a deep breath and exhale. Why, because Yes, the 2018 competitive season is over and the fleet has returned home, the corps members, instructional staff, and support staff have all gone their separate ways back home, to school, work, and marching band. And what a season it was.

In case you haven’t heard the Mandarins finished the 2018 competitive season in 10th place at the Drum Corps International World Championships Finals in Indianapolis on Saturday August 11th. Our first time ever making it to the Saturday night event!

What an accomplishment by the entire organization. It truly does take an entire village to put a drum corps on the field for 82 days ! The back side planning and execution of show design, food ordering and preparation, the transportation logistics, housing opportunities, daily on-site admin support, daily medical runs, teaching and reteaching of the competition show, uniforms, more food preparation, accounting (bill paying) logistics, member fees collection and just about 1,000 other items that I didn’t list but all go into the process of running a major league drum corps. And we did it!

The drum corps run up to Indy was nothing short of amazing - we had rained out shows (Allentown for example), less than ideal rehearsal facilities at times and yet the drum corps stayed focused - constant improvement every day regardless of what opportunities that were thrown at them. That is one of the signs of a true champion - do your job, do your job well, no questions asked, no complaining, no grief given out. Just Do It!

So, when Thursday night came and we walked onto the field at Lucas Oil I was confident that the corps will be successful. Now was I a tad bit worried about the judges and their reaction to the show? Of course I was, because you just never know. And, after a solid show I was feeling better about our chances. And then came Friday - and lets face it, this was going to be the do or die show - either we make it in or we are spectators Saturday night and, all I can say is Holy Smokes!!! The corps was well prepared, they were laser focused and they ABSOLUTELY came to play and they literally kicked the door in! What do I mean by that statement - kicked the door in? The drum corps had an amazing performance by every member - the power, the confidence, the excellence all combined for a show that not only placed them in finals but pushed them up into the 10th position. History was made at that moment when our score was announced. And what a relief, the tension, the stress and the pressure was off and the entire drum corps felt it.

Saturday was a gas - the rehearsal, the recognition of our age-outs, the Saturday night energy and yes, Brandt Crocker, the DCI announcer, giving us a special introduction and the audience giving us a standing ovation before we even played a single note. All special moments!

I couldn’t be more proud of our drum corps: the design team, the instructional staff, the drivers, the cooks, the admin team and other volunteers as well as well as the corps members themselves for everything they put into making this season so special.

For the organization and for the alumni - thank you for your support, we truly appreciate it.

And now, it is on to 2019. Yes, you heard me, no rest for us as there are year end reviews to complete - what worked, what didn’t, what do we change, what do we keep? What do we do next year ? What equipment, what props, oh no!!!, oh yes!!!

Thanks again!

Corps Director

Samuel Elmore Voted Outstanding Corps Member of 2018

Mandarins Corps Members voted Samuel Elmore as their Outstanding Member of 2018. The award is given annually in memory of Mandarins soprano player Joe Fong, our 1976 recipient who lost his life in an automobile accident.

Samuel received his first brass contract in 2012 but felt he really wasn't ready to march yet -- but knew that he wanted to, someday. He did march in 2014-2016 and 2018, taking a summer off for college studies. Samuel was the trumpet section lead in 2016 and in 2018 had the privilege to serve as the horn sergeant and lead the first Top 12 Mandarins homrline into DCI Finals.

One of Samuel's favorite memories comes from his rookie year, when he told his horn sergeant that he was going to be horn sergeant for his ageout year, and also make Finals. His predictions came true this year! Samuel thanks his mentors Tim Snyder for revolutionizing the hornline, and Joseph Hayes for being a fantastic educator through his entire drum corps career.

2018 Mandarins Academy

The 2018 Mandarins Academy, its 11th year, looks to continue to grow in size and in its benefit to students and their school music programs. Continued high expectations have been placed on the Mandarins Academy Directors and educators to provide a unique and diverse educational experience to meet the needs of all skill levels. This team consists of technicians, clinicians, and credentialed teachers experienced with elementary, middle, and high schools, colleges, performing arts organizations, Mandarins Academy, and the Sacramento Mandarins and other drum corps.

Part of the Mandarins Academy’s unique experience is due to the Directors and educators having performed or taught with the Sacramento Mandarins drum corps, so they are able to expose Mandarins Academy students to the teaching method and material used by the drum corps. A portion of the Mandarins Academy sessions is focused on auditioning in general, beneficial to those auditioning for the corps or for any performing arts organization.

With each year, something new is added. In 2016, we added a Woodwind Academy and we added leadership development for those students who have a leadership role in their school music program. In 2017, we expanded leadership development to all students. Stay tuned for what’s new in 2018. Mandarins Academy has also grown, from 63 students in 2015 to 131 students in 2016 to 166 students in 2017. And for the last 3 years, Mandarins Academy students have performed for family and friends at our end of season Show and Tell.

All of this supports the mission of the Mandarins Academy: to further the students’ skills in technique, musicianship, performance, and leadership development, all in support of their school music program. Mandarins Academy Directors and educators are committed to achieving that mission.

The Sacramento Mandarins Made History

For the first time in its 55-year history, the Mandarins are a Top 12 World Class drum corps. The Mandarins placed 11th out of 40 corps in the 2018 DCI Championship Prelims, advancing to 10th place of 12 corps in both Semifinals and Finals. For the entire season, their production, Life Rite After -- with distinctive uniforms, a unique rotating stage, amazing repertoire, and more -- has been an audience favorite with rousing standing ovations.. See the season's score history and commentary here. The final comment: "Mandarins should give us all hope and excitement for the future of this activity. They took a lot of risks and spent a lot of money to build this show. Keep this team together and this will be a regular on finals nights."

Founded in 1963 as the Ye Wah (Sacramento Chinese Community) drum corps, the organization's mission celebrates youth and transforms lives. Although our name has changed to the Mandarins, the Ye Wah motto has meaning today: You and I • Enriched in Friendship • Willingness to Learn • Ability to Do • Have Fun.

DCI Giving Challenge - Help Build Our Home

We have been CHALLENGED!

The Blue Stars Drum & Bugle Corps have dared us to see which corps can raise the most donations within a specified 7-day period. The loser of this challenge will have their Executive Director participate in a tasteful but embarrassing photo which will be plastered all over social media.

If you have been following the corps you may have noticed that the Mandarins are having an outstanding season. The corps and staff are doing everything possible to compete with the Blue Stars on the field. Let's do our part to do everything possible to compete with the Blue Stars OFF THE FIELD!

We continue to build our programs and build our future -- which includes securing a permanent home for the organization. Our vision for the “Mandarins Music Center” includes a permanent office, an event hall (which will be able to host local events as well as Mandarins Bingo), and a music center that would offer one-on-one music lessons, private practice rooms, workshops, and community classes.

The DCI Giving Challenge begins Saturday, July 28 and ends at midnight (EDT) on Friday, August 3. Your donation will bring us that much closer to building our new home. Donations of $1,000 or more will receive permanent recognition on the Mandarins Music Center’s Golden Dragon Wall of Thanksgiving. This is an ideal way to remember your marching experience, memorialize a past member of the Mandarins Family, to pay it forward. We must not fail! Let's show the Blue Stars what the Mandarins family and friends are made of. Tap/Click Here to donate.

Feed The Kids!

As we are now on our National Tour, we are kicking off our annual Feed The Kids Program! For donations over $100 the corps will recognize your contribution on the daily white board. You will know that your contribution has helped to Feed the Kids on their journey to Indianapolis! Simply tap/click here to donate. Thank you for your support.

Big, Loud & Live 15

If you're unable to see the Mandarins perform in person in Indiana, do the next best thing and see them in the movie theatre! Get your front-row seats to the DCI World Championship Prelims LIVE from Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis when Big, Loud & Live returns to cinemas. Catch all the action live on the big screen as 15 of DCI's top performing corps battle it out for the chance to be named the 2018 DCI World Champion! In the Sacramento area, several Mandarins alumni will cheer on the Mandarins at the Century Laguna 16 theatre. Get your reserved tickets before they're all gone.

2018 Production: Life Rite After

The Mandarins' 2018 production "Life Rite After" will take its audiences on a journey of the afterlife. Our story takes place after the “Chosen One” dances herself to death in "The Rite of Spring".

The Mandarins begins this production with an empty field, and a center stage used as a focal point where we will recreate "The Dance". Which is where "The Rite of Spring" left off and our 2018 production actually begins.

As we move the color guard onto the field, and the Corps begins to play "Doxology", a gospel hymn that brings both the ensemble and the audience into a spiritual and emotional side of our artistic interpretation. "Life Rite After” is a world that isn't heaven or hell, it's not good or evil, but rather an artistic place where anything and everything can happen. Through our form of art and body, choreography, staging, melodic rhythms and mood, Mandarins 2018 will showcase its most poetic production to date.

Bringing in Cyndi Lauper’s “True Colors” helps represent acceptance to the dancer into this new entity. Presenting the gift of color and light from our three spirit guides helps us impact and punctuate this production of the ballad to its fullest color, sound, and mood.

We finish our production with a melody of combined music of “Doxology” and “True Colors” to give the audience a finale that has yet to be seen. Some of the most beautiful things in this world of art, are beyond our imagination. These are all things that have yet to be discovered. We would love to take you on our journey into the unknown. "Life Rite After".

2018 Musical Selections

Movement 1: String Quartet #8 In C Minor, Op. 110 - 2. Allegro Molto (Dmitri Shostakovich)
Movement 2: Spiriti (Thomas Doss)
Movement 3: True Colors (Tom Kelly / Billy Steinberg)
Movement 4: Spiriti (Thomas Doss)

California Arts Council Awards Grant to the Mandarins

The California Arts Council announced its plans to award $13,500 to the Mandarins as part of its Arts Education: Extension program.

As a segment of the California Arts Council Arts Education grant opportunities, Extension grants support arts education programs for Pre-K-12 students that operate after school and during the summer, on school sites, in artistic venues, and in community settings. The intention of the program is to offer young people sequential, hands-on training in artistic disciplines, including dance, literary arts, media arts, music, theatre, and visual arts.

With support from the California Arts Council, the Mandarins of Sacramento Inc. will give the gift of music through an after-school band program for students at elementary schools whose curriculum does not offer an opportunity to learn to play a musical instrument. Music connects children with their culture through a common language, crossing generational, social, and racial barriers. Participation in performing arts builds discipline, character, pride, and self-confidence at a crucial age, providing a springboard for greater achievements in their teenage years and adulthood.

“The Arts Education Extension program capitalizes on the potential to create arts learning opportunities for California’s young people whenever and wherever possible,” said Nashormeh Lindo, California Arts Council Chair. “Projects like Mandarins Education ‘Giving the Gift of Music’ allow for the positive impacts of arts engagement to continue undeterred.”

“We are thrilled to have received word that we are a recipient of the CAC Grant. We have embarked on this mission to ‘Give the Gift of Music’ to children and this grant signifies that we are on the right track with our initiative. This grant will allow us to accelerate our reach to provide instrumental music education to hundreds of children in the region," said Jim Tabuchi, Executive Director.

Mutual Care & Respect: A DCI Community Forum

On June 9, the Mandarins joined with 30 other drum corps across the nation in halting all rehearsal activity to view and participate in DCI's Mutual Care & Respect interactive forum, which was broadcast live. The topics covered the DCI Community Code of Conduct & Ethics Guidelines and included Conduct Expectations, Sexual Misconduct, Anti-Discrimination, Reporting, and more. This will help ensure and continue the safety of all corps members, staff, and volunteers. Also, the Mandarins' own policies require adherence to high standards of conduct; you can review these policies here.

Update From The Corps Director

Greetings to all! This report comes from somewhere in sunny California where 154 young people seem to running around in precise formations playing what appear to be brass instruments, all kinds of percussion instruments, and spinning flags, rifles and sabers. What is going on???

The Mandarins are in the house and our four weeks of spring training has begun! Friday, May 25th, the drum corps moved into their home at CRC (Cosumnes River College) in Elk Grove, CA. They have already started learning lots of drill, new choreography and equipment work, as well as the brass and percussion are playing lots of music together. The weather has heated up into the 90’s so we are receiving lots of sun requiring members to slather on the sunscreen. We have had our fair share of heat related opportunities as the members start to acclimate to the high temperatures and high levels of energy required to get through each day. I am really liking this particular group of young people. They are courteous, respectful, and well, nice. They also have a passion that is very engaging and a desire for excellence that is invigorating! The staff is working hard to stay ahead of the corps which is the way it should be. The support teams - admin, transportation, health & wellness, and food services have been stunning. They are just as world class as our drum corps is.

"So what? You say this every month!", you ask. And, perhaps I do and yet, each month is a little different as we piece together the show, new challenges arise, new opportunities present themselves, and I just enjoy sharing those points with you. I have even been posting pictures on the 2018 Mandarins Parents and Friends Facebook page. They may not be high quality but then I’m a drum corps director not a photographer.

As we get closer to our first public performance of the year - Saturday, June 16th at the Mandarins Family Day event, which is in the evening @ 7:00 PM @ Monterey Trail High School - the excitement is rising. New equipment, new uniforms (You are going to say, "WOW!"), new music, new drill, new, new everything! Ya gotta come out sometime to see what we are doing. Really - ya gotta come out and see what YOUR sons and daughters are doing. And, I get it - between work, school, other kids, relationships, and just about everything else under the sun I’m asking you to come out and see YOUR young people sweat their hearts out. Did I get that right? YES, I DID!

On the Mandarins website, our e-calendar lists the locations/facilities that we will be located for the next four weeks. And yes, we would LOVE to have you stop by for a bit. Be it an hour, an afternoon, a full day, or even a couple of days. We, your sons & daughters included, would love to see you.

Mandarins Performances in Sacramento

Local fans have three opportunities to see the Mandarins' highly-anticipated field production, Life Rite After in the Sacramento area.

First, come to our Family Day performace on June 16 at Monterey Trail High School, where you can experience the show's debut and also stock up on great Mandarins apparel and other souvenirs for the summer! The evening program begins at 7:00 pm.

Next, attend the Moonlight Classic on June 24 at Hughes Stadium.

And then we'll see you at the our DCI Capital Classic home show -- the Mandarins' final California show before departing for National Tour. Come for the food. Stay for the show. Feel the beat! Drum corps will be convening at the DCI Capital Classic prior to their coast-to-coast tours where they will perform for thousands of fans all over the United States this summer. There will be over 1000 talented youth performers at this event executing their highly entertaining music, precision marching and maneuvers and colorful dance and pageantry. These shows are truly family entertainment at its best for all ages from young to seniors! Mouth-watering Chinese and American cuisine will be available for purchase Download and share the Press Release here.

DCI Capital Classic Volunteers Needed

The annual DCI Capital Classic drum and bugle corps show will be held on Friday July 6th at Monterey Trail High School. We need over thirty volunteers to make this year's event a success. We have several positions available. Review job descriptions, and sign up here. Volunteers receive free admission and a meal voucher. Thanks for your help!

Mandarins Leadership Camp returns for 2018

Mandarins Leadership Camp had a successful inaugural 2017 camp of nearly 30 student leaders, and the 2018 camp will be looking to expand its reach to 50 students. Mandarins Leadership Camp is a two-day, overnight summer camp for high school student leaders, with the goal of enabling student leaders to effectively support their band director’s vision and goals. With an emphasis on being a leadership camp and not just a drum major camp, Mandarins Leadership Camp is unique from other camps by including wind and percussion section leaders and guard Captains as well as drum majors. Another unique feature from other camps is that student leaders will be taught on campus where the Sacramento Mandarins Drum and Bugle Corps will be rehearsing AND competing. Students will “eat, meet and greet” with the Mandarins, and experience drum corps life without the travel. A highlight of last year’s camp had students conducting the Mandarins brass line! The camp will conclude with a ticket to the DCI Capital Classic drum corps show that the Mandarins host, so students can see a performance of the Mandarins and many other drum corps in competition.

The educational staff of Santiago Sabado, Marvin Reed, Becky Stewart, and Jeremy Palin return, with additional educators planned.

For more info and to registe, tap here and receive a discount if you register before June 1st. For questions, please send an email to

The Big Day of Giving was HUGE...

...and a BIG start toward the Mandarins Music Center. Ecstatic, Amazed, Humbled... those are some of the words that come to mind when we realize that our alumni, families and fans have donated $35,888 toward Building the Mandarins Future. Our heads are spinning at the outpouring of support and encouragement that each of our donors has provided. Not only does this mean that we fulfilled our mission in the past but that you also trust we will do so in the future. By the way, did you know that the number 8 is the luckiest number in Asian cultures? The number represents happiness. We couldn't have planned it better to reach $35,888 since that means triple happiness in our future. And once again we are so thankful for your support. Together we are "Building the Mandarins Future!"

Mandarins 55th Anniversary Afghan Raffle

The Mandarins is offering our first-ever afghan raffle. Handcrafted by the loving hands of Mandarins volunteer, Alice (Geema) Swift, this beautiful afghan features colors often seen in Mandarins Drum & Bugle Corps uniforms in the past and present. The afghan measures 60” x 70” and is made of 100% acrylic and machine washable. It is made with 55 Mandarin color squares plus 8 black squares. Combined for a total of 63 squares, this represents the date of the founding of the Mandarins – 1963!

Tickets are $5.00 each and can be purchased online at the Mandarins Marketplace -- or at the Mandarins Souvie Booth. (Mandarins Birthday Bash celebration, Family Day and Clovis, Stanford and Moonlight Classic shows, and DCI Capital Classic). Winner will be announced at DCI Capital Classic on Friday, July 6, 2018 at Monterey Trail High School. Winner need not be present.

About the creator:

Meet Alice (Geema) Swift, the creator of the Mandarins afghan! Alice started volunteering with the Mandarins in 2016, after she saw an article on the DCI Facebook page about Mandarins Drum & Bugle Corps assisting The Free Players (Musicians with disabilities) on and off the field in Allentown, PA. She was so touched by this gesture that she decided she would volunteer for the Mandarins.

Alice has been a drum corps fan since the early 70’s. Her son, Sean, marched with Carolina Crown in 1995.

Alice has worn many hats in her short time with the Mandarins. She has housed members, worked in the kitchen (she makes a mean PB&J, and helped with uniform alterations. Her most important job is the Mandarins Shuttle Coordinator. Alice makes sure all out-of-town members arrive to/from camps safely.

Alice also loves caring for her two granddaughters, Abby and Norah, a few days a week. She loves to crochet, knit and quilt in her spare time. Alice crocheted and donated this beautiful afghan to commemorate the Mandarins’ 55th Anniversary.

We are fortunate to have Geema as a part of our Mandarins family!

Message From the Directors

Dear Mandarins Members, Parents, Staff and Alumni,

By now you may have heard of the serious allegations against a director of another drum corps. We would like to share our Mandarins position and what we have done to safeguard and protect our members and staff.

At the Mandarins, our mission is to positively transform the lives of our youth members through musical performance. Member and staff safety is the top priority for our organization. This is entirely consistent with our number one value, which is Respect. Our focus on safety and respect flow through everything that we do as an organization.

To ensure the safety of our members and staff, we have established policies and procedures. They include:
• A policy for mandatory background checks for all staff members through a national background check registry
• The signed Staff Code of Conduct that states: "Sexual harassment of any type is unacceptable. An offense of this nature may result in termination. An offense with a minor will be reported to law enforcement. Any other type of harassment or discriminatory behavior based on race, age, gender or sexual orientation or any other constitutionally protected right is not permitted."
• The Member Code of Conduct that states: "Treat other corps members as you would like to be treated. Respect their personal needs and requests. This awareness applies to rehearsals, sleeping areas, and the bus. Ensure that your relationships with others include no inappropriate behavior. If you have a concern with someone, please advise the director for further support or action. Hazing and bullying will NOT be tolerated in the Mandarins."
• Mandarins maintains an open door policy that allows anyone at any level to report issues to the highest level of our organization without fear of retribution.
• We have developed a Health and Wellness Team staffed with professionals to address medical concerns.
• We serve food in a safe manner that provides great nutritional value for our members and staff.
• We employ professional drivers whose only task is to drive members, staff and equipment safely down the road.

Mandarins continually strive to be the most welcoming corps in the world. We have developed a Statement of Inclusivity that says, "We celebrate and embrace diversity in all of its forms including gender, racial, sexual orientation, religious and socio-economic diversity. We believe that everyone brings their individual identity AND unites to create amazing musical ensembles."

You can rest assured that the Mandarins is a safe environment for all involved. As always, thank you for your support for the Mandarins!

Best regards,
Jim Tabuchi
Executive Director

JW Koester
Corps Director

1199's Return to Mandarins Bingo!

Celebrate the return of $1199 games and the 55th Anniversary of Sacramento Mandarins who has been serving your community and youth in the Sacramento region and beyond for over 55 years. You have a chance to WIN BIG at Mandarins at all our bingo sessions. The $1199 games are the highlight of every bingo session with Mandarins. Don’t lose any more time. Attend any of our sessions to play in the “Friendliest Hall in Town!” and win. Over $6000 in payouts each session!

After more than two years of not permitting 1199's in Sacramento County, they are now back because of a revision that was made in the Sacramento County Bingo Ordinance. "This was a case of our Sacramento County Supervisors listening to the local charities and ultimately from our local players", said Jim Tabuchi, Executive Director of the Sacramento Mandarins. "Through several hearings, Supervisors Don Nottoli, Patrick Kennedy and Phil Serna, understood the uneven playing field between Sacramento County bingo halls and those of other jurisdictions. The county supervisors unanimously agreed to amend the ordinance to rectify this situation. As a result, this provides a benefit to our players, the local charities and ultimately the kids that our non-profits serve.”

See our April Bingo specials here.

New Partnership with Fruhauf Uniforms

The Sacramento Mandarins announce a new sponsorship partnership with Fruhauf Uniforms, signing an exclusive agreement to become the sole uniform provider for the world class corps.

As the exclusive manufacturer of the Mandarins Drum and Bugle Corps uniforms, the Fruhauf design team will collaborate with the Mandarins Program Director (Ike Jackson) and Creative Director (Mario Ramirez) to bring innovative design and unmatched Fruhauf quality to the field starting in 2018.

“In our initial discussions with the Fruhauf Uniform Company, we were pleased to discover that we had such a complementary organizational culture,” said Jim Tabuchi, Mandarins Executive Director. “We both have similar values in respect, excellence and family. The amazing thing is that Fruhauf has been around for about twice as long as the Mandarins (108 years versus 54 years!) and both of our organizations have survived and thrived. This has been accomplished by both organizations’ emphasis on doing what is right for the kids in music education excellence.”

“At Fruhauf, we deliver high-quality uniforms that uniquely complement each marching show program, taking the performance to the next level through apparel design and superior craftsmanship,” said Richard Fruhauf, Vice President of Fruhauf Uniforms. “We are very excited to work with such an amazing organization and look forward to continuing the momentum and success of the Mandarins through our partnership.”

Golden 1 Credit Union Hosts Mandarins Volunteers

A big shout-out to the Golden 1 Credit Union and their Events & Marketing Coordinator Carolie Lawson for hosting Mandarins volunteers at the recent Lorde concert at the Golden 1 Center. The view from the Golden 1 Credit Union Community Suite was excellent and a fantastic time was enjoyed by all. What a treat to give to our volunteers who give so much from the heart for our Mandarins kids! #Golden1Gives

Mandarins Birthday Bash

Join us on Saturday April 28, 6:00 pm at Rosemont High School, 9594 Keifer Blvd in Sacramento. to celebrate the Mandarins' 55th Anniversary and Birthday. Held concurrently with our April Corps Camp, this event lets everyone connect with friends and alumni -- and also meet the 2018 corps members, who will provide a sneak peek of this year's show.

Order your dinner tickets here. Your choice of tri tip, chicken, or vegetarian entree, plus green salad, pasta, baked beans, dinner roll, cake, and beverage.

We hope to see you there. While the faces and performances have changed over the years, the Mandarins still provide the same values and traditions which have ensured our success for the past 55 years and beyond.

2018 Instructional Staff

Mandarins Caption Heads Tim Snyder (Brass), Darren VanDerpoel (Percussion), Michael Samson (Visual), and Mario Ramirez (Color Guard) have finalized their educational and professional staff for the 2018 season. All are excited to continue the momentum generated by last season's show and are looking forward to our 2018 production described in the Facebook Live video here. Meet the Caption Heads and their respective staff in their bios.

New Year Update from Corps Director JW Koester

Hi Everyone,

Whew! Has it been a busy start to 2018 or what ? So just in case you were wondering, the answer is a resounding yes!

The annual Drum Corps International meetings and bi-annual Rules Congress meeting were held in Indianapolis the first weekend of January and in attendance from the Mandarins were: Jim Tabuchi - Executive Director, JW Koester - Corps Director, Ike Jackson - Corps Program Director, Darren Van Derpoel - Percussion Caption Head & Battery Arranger, Tim Snyder - Brass Caption Head and Michael Samson - Visual Caption Head. And yes, I think our organization was represented in the finest manner. The annual meetings were fairly normal with lots of business/budget items discussed.

The most exciting part of the meetings was the passage of a proposal, a proposal made by the Mandarins, to change the order of performance of the corps in shows during the second half of the season being based on each corps placement at the San Antonio Regional competition. This is a pretty big change as corps will be seeded according to the current year's standings about midway into drum corps season rather than being based on the previous year's finals placement.

The Rules Congress was a bit more lively with several proposals debated and voted upon, first by the institutional community and then by the corps directors.

• Passed: Increase corps membership from 150 to 154 individuals. Effective 2018
• Passed: Use new music analysis 1 & 2 sheets. Effective 2018.
• Failed: Increase Saturday night finals from 12 to 15 corps.

Regarding Mandarins Drum & Bugle Corps, the third camp of the season was held at Rosemont High School Jan 12 - 14 in Sacramento and it was quite successful from multiple aspects.

• Many more contracts were issued and the corps is now approximately 90% contracted with many alternates in line to step up if/when a contracted member isn’t able to continue.

• The horn line and the front ensemble each played though several sections of the 2018 show music.

• Brass and battery percussion continued their visual training.

• The color guard continued their equipment and dance training with Manny & Chris.

• The drum major candidates spent quality time with Marvin honing their skills.

• The Health & Wellness Team (Dr. Dan & Kim) engaged with members and staff to further coordinate their efforts to support the corps activities.

• Our AWESOME Volunteer Kitchen Crew prepared approximately 1,500 meals throughout the weekend.

Like I said, Whew!

The design team continues development of the 2018 show design and we expect to announce the show title/music in the near future. We are still working on securing some of the music licenses so that we can use the music in our performances. Tour planning is well under way to ensure that we have excellent facilities throughout the summer.

And yes, we are already looking for volunteers to support the kitchen and driving aspects of the corps throughout the summer (move in’s and tour) and YES, WE WANT YOU to join us. Please contact Cathy Sackett for volunteer kitchen crew and Jerry Sackett for volunteer driving opportunities.

Next corps camp is February 2 - 4, 2018 with the tentative location once again being Rosemont High School. This camp is brass only. NO color guard or percussion at this camp. Take care and come out to see the corps sometime soon.

Corps Director

Outstanding Corps Member of 2017

Kelley Ho

Mandarins corps members voted Kelley Ho as their Outstanding Corps Member for the second year in a row. Never before in Mandarins history has a corps member received this honor more than one time. Kelley remains one of the most popular drum majors in the drum and bugle corps activity; her passion and conducting skills were displayed at each and every performance, dazzling audiences and judges alike.

Kelley is a graduate of Monterey Trail High School where she played saxophone and was a drum major for two years. She also played baritone for a year and was drum major the year after for the Sacramento State Marching Band. In the spring of 2017, Kelley graduated from Cosumnes River College with an Associate of Arts degree in Theatre Arts and is currently studying Drama at University of California, Irvine. She hopes to receive her Honors in Directing upon graduation. While attending school, Kelley is a novice stage manager for student projects and is also working as a private drum major instructor for students all over California and Hawaii.

Kelley said, "Thinking back on the past four seasons, I can’t help but to think how much I will miss everyone in the Mandarins. I was extremely blessed to be around such beautiful and compassionate people who worked to be better at their craft every single day. My time with the Mandarins was magical and I am proud to be an alumnus of an organization that will be even stronger in 2018."

Mandarins Health and Wellness Team

We are excited to announce the implementation of the Mandarins Health and Wellness Team. Co-directors Kimberly Wong, PT, and Daniel Fong, O.D. will be assembling a team of professionals and interns to ensure the health and well-being of the Mandarins members and staff.

"The members' physical health and well-being is the most important aspect of the Mandarins Health and Wellness Team. We aim to focus on the total being - including a complete medical history, training protocols for injury prevention, staff education, and on-site care for members as needed. Some guidelines for Physical Training protocol for all sections will be developed," states co-director Kim Wong.

Professionals and interns can contact Dan at 916-956-0948 or to get more information and to volunteer their services.

Tim Snyder Named Brass Caption Head for 2018

The Sacramento Mandarins are pleased to announce that the percussion, color guard and visual caption heads—as well as the program director—will be returning for the 2018 season, with Tim Snyder joining staff as the new Brass Caption Head.

Darren VanDerpoel will be leading percussion, Mario Ramirez with color guard, Michael Samson as the visual caption head, and Ike Jackson returning as Program Director.

“Last year was a monumental step for the Mandarins organization, with the staff, the administration and the design team coming together for the very first time in 2017,” said Ike. “As the organization grows and the team gets stronger, there are always some small modifications that happen along the way. In 2018, Mandarins will continue to move forward, and we ensure that we will bring a positive life-changing experience to not only the members, but to the fans and DCI alike.”

Snyder, the new brass caption head, is a freelance arranger, composer, educator and adjudicator, and is in-demand as a clinician throughout the country in brass pedagogy. His music has been performed on concert stages and football fields all across America and he has an extensive background in drum corps—teaching some of the most prestigious tuba lines in DCI including Carolina Crown and overseeing a 20-person tuba line with Madison Scouts. Most recently, Snyder was the brass caption manager for Oregon Crusaders, and he also worked with the Casper Troopers in 2014 and 2015.

“I am very excited to be part of this fantastic group of people and organization. I want to help build upon the excellence and tradition that make up the Mandarins organization,” said Snyder.

Download a copy of the Press Release here.

Jim Tabuchi DCI Director of the Year

Jim Tabuchi

At the 2017 DCI Championships, Mandarins Executive Director Jim Tabuchi was presented the Dr. Bernard Baggs Award for Outstanding Leadership. This award is voted on by all World Class directors and recognizes Mr. Tabuchi as a DCI Director of 2017. He was elected to the DCI Board of Directors in early 2017; the Board is responsible for overseeing DCI's business and strategic initiatives.

Mr. Tabuchi states, "I was proud to accept this leadership award from DCI because it was an exclamation point on an incredible season. But this is not a personal award. It should be awarded to the entire Mandarins organization. I did not prepare the 80,000 meals, nor did I design the fan favorite corps show, or recruit and educate the 150 members or perform an incredible show or drive vehicles 12,000 miles or plan and execute a nation wide tour or sell souvies across the country or create and sew uniforms. What just happened was the culmination of countless hours of work over 54 years by people who lead from their hearts. Most of us as volunteers receive our "pay" in thank you's and smiles. And if we do a good job we will get a raise next year. It is an honor to be able to serve as a leader for so many incredible people."

Mandarins 2018 Interest Group

2018 Interest Group

The Mandarins have created a 2018 Sacramento Mandarins Interest Group on Facebook. We like to think of the Mandarins as the most welcoming drum corps in all of DCI. We celebrate diversity, respect the individuality of all of our members AND all unite within the Mandarins Family.

On the field, our shows are entertaining, exciting, creative and unique. Our belief is that the more you enjoy performing the show, the more the audience will enjoy experiencing the show.

We just completed a very successful 2017 drum corps season and are excited to begin our 2018 season. This Interest Group is intended to be a place for all of you interested candidates for the upcoming season. We will begin auditions shortly and this is where you can ask questions and get to know others who will be auditioning with you. This group will be moderated by veteran members of the Mandarins who will share their experience with you. This year we will have in-person auditions in multiple locations and will accept video auditions. Stay tuned for more information soon! Thanks for your interest in the Mandarins and we are excited to begin an awesome 2018 season!

Igniting Sacramento's Arts & Culture Scene


In June, Mandarins Entertainment helped kick off Mayor Darrell Steinberg's quest to ignite Sacramento's arts and culture scene. Among other things, the art of busking (street performing is encouraged. And, the city will increase its contribution to the Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission to $500,000 to support, promote, and advance the arts in the Sacramento region. There will also be a heavy focus on arts education in city schools, and the city and its partners will work on strategic investments in arts and culture in Sacramento, Mayor Steinberg and other dignitaries celebrated this great news by busking with Mandarins Entertainment. See the video here.

Joe Fong Appointed Director of Mandarins Entertainment

Joe Fong

Joe Fong has accepted the position of Director of Mandarins Entertainment. For the past several years, Joe has been managing Mandarins Entertainment aspects of talent, equipment, costuming, booking, and more. Past performances include gigs at the Crocker Art Museum, Bayside Church Christmas, Oakland Raiders, NASCAR, and of course as the Sacramento Kings Drumline. Thanks to Joe for volunteering his time and management expertise!

Mandarins Parents Facebook Group


Parents of corps members marching with the Mandarins have their own Facebook Group to network, answer questions, sign up to help at corps camps, and more. There's even pictures of corps members and some of the great meals they enjoy, and they definitely appreciate all that you do. If you're a parent and use Facebook, submit a request to join the group here, and get involved. As one parent said, "It's wonderful working with so many great people. The spirit of volunteering is contagious when we see how much the kids get out of it!"

Point West Rotary Club Grants Mandarins

Point West Rotary Club

The Point West Rotary Club awarded the Mandarins a $7,500 grant for new uniform bibs for the growing corps which expects to march 150 members again this year. Mandarins Executive Director Jim Tabuchi and the Rotary Club had several meetings to discuss the need and benefits the grant would provide. We thank the Rotary Club for their generosity.

The Sacramento Mandarins Choose Innovative Percussion

Innovative Percussion
Innovative Percussion is proud to announce the addition of the Sacramento Mandarins Drum & Bugle Corps, from Sacramento, California, to its family of world class drum corps. The Mandarins will use Innovative Percussion products exclusively during the 2016 season. Entering their 53rd season, the Mandarins organization has a rich heritage that embodies the blending of Asian traditions with drum & bugle corps, creating values for youth with a true sense of purpose. Innovative Percussion is happy to welcome this dynamic organization to their artist family.

Founding Member Frank Lim Passes

Frank Lim

Founding Member Frank Lim passed away this month, at the age of 99. He was the last living founder of the Sacramento Mandarins, formerly known as the Ye Wah Drums & Lyras Corps. In 1963 Mr. Lim, president of the Sacramento Chinese Benevolent Association, coordinated the first meeting of children and parents interested in forming the corps. He also rallied the ten Chinese family associations to contribute funds to the cause. Four months after that first meeting on a rainy day in March, the Ye Wah marched its first parade. At the Mandarins' 50th Anniversary Celebration in 2013, Mr. Lim was our guest of honor and enjoyed our production, "Destination America ~ Journey of the Paper Sons." He was pleased to see the corps thriving and beginning its next 50 years. In 1963 we started with 11 marching members, and today we are fielding 150. Thank you to Mr. Lim and the other founders for creating the Mandarins. Our sincere condolences to his family and loved ones.

1978-81 Mandarins Color Guard Reunites After 33 Years

1978-81 guard
33 years after their epic performance which brought the house down at the 1981 California Color Guard Circuit Championships, the Mandarins Color Guard reunited to renew friendships, reminisce, and share photos. Thanks to Laurie Moy, Shirley Fujii, Cathy Lee, and Michele Samonte for planning and presenting the reunion. And to Color Guard Director Joyce Yee for the pink satin roses. And a big shout-out to Rob Jong's Slightly Skewed food truck for catering a delicious feast. Everyone had a great time, and decided not to wait 33 years for the next reunion.

Bingo Manager Janet Wong Passes

Janet Wong

The Sacramento Mandarins' beloved Bingo Manager, Janet Wong passed away on Mother's Day, May 11, 2014. Janet joined the Mandarins in 1983 when her son Rod joined the drumline. Janet became Booster Club Manager and along with her husband Bucky, kept the corps well-fed with the legendary food service the Mandarins became known for. Janet volunteered for Bingo Manager in 1988, and since then has continually served in this position, long after Rod aged-out of the corps. Janet said that being Bingo Manager was something she enjoyed doing, by raising money for the kids. Her dedication enabled the Mandarins to become an internationally-recognized DCI Champion. Throughout her 31 years with the Mandarins, Janet always had a smile and volunteer ethic second to none. We will miss her tremendously.

Christmas Services at Bayside Church


Mandarins Entertainment performed at multiple Christmas Services at Bayside Church Granite Bay campus, this holiday season. Sharing the stage with acclaimed contemporary Christian musician and worship leader Lincoln Brewster, the Mandarins delighted several thousand people attending one or more services. Earlier in the week, the Mandarins and Bayside's worship team were featured on Good Day Sacramento, performing Little Drummer Boy.

Mandarins Partner with Jupiter, Mapex, and Majestic


The Mandarins have partnered with Jupiter Brass instruments, Mapex Marching Drums, and Majestic Percussion for their 2014 season. “We are very excited to partner with the Jupiter, Mapex, and Majestic team at KHS America”, said Jim Tabuchi, Executive Director of the Mandarins. “At the Mandarins, our focus is to have a profoundly positive influence on our youth members and to use performance excellence as the vehicle to do so. KHS America’s clear commitment to the marching arts as well as music education is a commitment that we share. The support of the KHS America team has been truly outstanding and the instruments we’ve tested are of the quality and sound that our instructional staff and students expect. I know our audiences will be very impressed with our new sound.”

Got E-Waste? Save the Earth and Help the Mandarins!


Got E-Waste? Schedule a free pickup and benefit the Mandarins! We’re part of the eWaste4good fundraiser in the Sacramento Area. Call 800-317-3112, or click here to schedule an e-waste pickup from your home of office. Recycle your TV, monitor, computer, stereo, and more (see the list) without having to haul it to a recycler. Simply follow the steps below:

1. Select “Sacramento Area” as the approximate region of the organization you’re donating to.

2. Select “Sacramento Mandarins Drum & Bugle Corps” from the organization drop-down list.

3. Fill out the remaining items and click Submit.

4. Save the Earth while helping the Mandarins!

A Magical 50th Anniversary Celebration


The Mandarins celebrated their Golden Anniversary on September 21, commemorating 50 years of success. Over 360 alumni corps members, instructors, and family members joined us for a delicious dinner at the Hong Kong Islander Restaurant. Jimmie Yee of the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors presented directors Ray Mar and Jim Tabuchi with resolutions recognizing individual and collective achievements for the Mandarins.


It was great to see representation from the very first Ye Wah members (including the remaining living founder, Frank Lim) -- to present-day Mandarins members who performed in the Destination America show, which everyone watched with amazement after dinner.

The evening concluded with photo ops and the renewing of friendships. Thanks to the 50th Anniversary Committee of Christine Thorntona, Steve Wong, Marilyn Chin, Diana Gin, Al Chinn, Kim Wong, Roxie Tom, Karen Wu, Jim Tabuchi, Jennie Fong, Jillene Sturgess-DaPrato, and Scott Jow for coordinating such a fabulous event.

Director Tabuchi recalled the lyrics to the Earth, Wind, and Fire song, "September." Do you remember the 21st night of September? The celebration was a magical evening that will be long-remembered.

Destination America - Journey of the Paper Sons

Angel Island

Our 2013 production, "Destination America - Journey of the Paper Sons" is based on a true story which began in 1899. The show has opened to wide acclaim, and it brings to the drum corps field an important part of Chinese and American history that many people are unaware of. Recently, the Sacramento Bee newspaper published an article, titled "Angel Island: Haunting History in the Middle of San Franciso Bay." You can also view a movie about the Angel Island Immigration Station.

Rob on the Road Features Mandarins

Rob on the RoadRob Stewart, of KVIE Public Television, produces "Rob on the Road", which discovers stories that capture the unique spirit of Northern California. Rob visited the Mandarins at one of their last rehearsals before DCI tour, and interviewed Brass instructor and Mandarins Brass Academy head Jim Tabuchi. See Rob's video here.

Mandarins Voted the Best of Sacramento Best of Sacramento Concert Best Bang for Your Buck Award

Sacramento Magazine hosted the Best of Sacramento Party in November at the Sacramento Convention Center, showcasing subscribers' picks for best local restaurants, entertainment, personalities, specialty shops, service providers, and more. The Mandarins won the Best Bang for Your Buck award. Over 7,400 attendees sampled various foods, drinks, and the Mandarins' performance. The corps was featured as one of the evening's highlights and were pleased to participate in this event, where $235,000 was raised for the March of Dimes.