Mandarins Drum and Bugle Corps

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Drum and Bugle Corps
Mandarins logo.png
Mandarins Drum and Bugle Corps logo
LocationSacramento, CA
DivisionWorld Class
DirectorJW Koester
Championship titlesDivision III 1987, '88, '92, '96-99
Division II 2001

The Mandarins Drum and Bugle Corps is a World Class competitive junior drum and bugle corps. Based in Sacramento, California, the Mandarins is a member corps of Drum Corps International (DCI).[1] Holders of eight DCI divisional championship titles, the Mandarins made its first World Class Finals appearance on August 11, 2018 with a tenth place finish.[2]

History[edit | edit source]

The corps was founded in 1963 as the Ye Wah Drum and Lyre Corps, an activity for youth of Asian-American heritage. Roy Wong, Frank Lim, Thomas Fong, and Yuk Fong had originally approached the Sacramento Chinese community with the intent of starting a drum and bugle corps to perform at the many festivals and parades held each year in the Sacramento area. After struggling to get underway, the corps made its debut on the Fourth of July, 1963. A color guard was added to the corps in 1964 and became a competitive unit in 1965.

Entering the field as a competition corps, the group changed its name to the Mandarins Drum and Bugle Corps in 1967. The corps competed only in Northern California until making its first trip to Southern California in 1970. Since that first trip, the corps has represented its community, Sacramento, and California around the country and abroad. Mandarins appeared in the Taiwan presidential inaugural ceremonies in 1972 and '78. In 1974, they went to Hawaii to march in the King Kamehameha Parade. In 1975, they made their first trip to the Pacific Northwest and Canada. They made their first appearance at the DCI World Championships at Denver in 1978.

In 1983, under the leadership of Executive Director Ray Mar, the corps began working toward becoming a highly successful competitive corps, and they have been regular competitors in DCI since 1986, winning Class A60/Division III championships in 1987, '88, '92, and '96 through '99 and the Division II title in 2001. Mandarins moved into Division I (now World Class) in 2003, and their highest finish has been 10th place, earned in 2018.[3][4]

In 2014, the Mandarins and the Sacramento State Department of Music entered into a partnership to conduct the Mandarins Academies. These are performing arts camps held on the Sacramento State campus to help youth develop their skills in brass, percussion, woodwinds, and color guard performance, and in drum major conducting.[5]

Sponsorship[edit | edit source]

Since beginning in 1963, the Mandarins have been sponsored by a volunteer booster club of parents and supporters. The Mandarins of Sacramento, Inc. is a 501 (c)(3) musical organization. As such, it has a Board of Directors, director, and staff assigned to carry out the organization's mission. JW Koester is the corps director, Jim Tabuchi is the Executive Director, and Raymond Mar is the organization's advisor and Director Emeritus.[6]

Show summary (1978-2022)[edit | edit source]


Gold background indicates DCI Championship; pale blue background indicates DCI Class Finalist; pale green background indicates DCI semifinalist.

Year Theme Repertoire Score Placement
1978 Repertoire unavailable 43.250 12th Class A
1979–83 Repertoires unavailable Did not attend
1984 Legacy by Bob James / Light on my Life by Bill Sharpe and Roger Odell / Loisita by Bill Sharpe snd Roger Odell --- Did not attend
1985 Ponteio by Edú Lobo and Jose Carlos Capinam / Rainmaker by Earl Klugh / Dark Orchid by Sammy Nestico --- Did not attend
1986 Dark Orchid by Sammy Nestico / Rainmaker by Earl Klugh / Bossa Netti by Vic Cionetti /
Copacabana by Barry Manilow, Jack Feldman, and Bruce Sussman
64.80 10th A60
1987 Storm at Sun-Up by Gino Vannelli / Celebration Suite by Armando Anthony "Chick" Corea /
Voyager by Derrick Graves, Dexter Wansel, George Howard, Herb Smith, and Steve Gold /
Sweet Cheryl Lynn by Chuck Mangione
1st A60
1988 The Sorcerer and the Latin by Vic Schoen / In Her Family by Pat Metheny / Celebration Suite by Chick Corea /
Voyager by Derrick Graves, Dexter Wansel, George Howard, Herb Smith, and Steve Gold /
More Than the Stars by Eddie Cole
1st A60
1989 Dreams of the Sirens by Russ Freeman / In Her Family by Pat Metheny /
Minuano & The First Circle by Pat Metheny and Lyle Mays
3rd A60
1990 The First Circle by Pat Metheny and Lyle Mays / Letter From Home & Third Wind by Pat Metheny /
Minuano & Flight of the Falcon by Pat Metheny and Lyle Mays
2nd A60
1991 Let There Be Praise & In His Presence by Dick and Melodie Tunney /
So Much 2 Say by Cedrick Dent and Mervyn Warren / Miracles can Happen by Brent Henderson and Craig Patty /
Make His Praise Glorious by Bill and Robin Wolaver
92.60 2nd A60
1992 Joy (Traditional) / Jubilee Variations, Appalachian Spring & The Red Pony by Aaron Copland 89.50
1st DIII
1993 Episode Five for Brass by Carl Hilding "Doc" Severinsen / Adagio for Strings by Samuel Barber /
Rocky Point Holiday by Ron Nelson
2nd DII
1994 Voices of a Planet Black Forest by Brian Slawson /
Dance of the Hunter's Fire by Airto Moreira, Babatunde Olatunji, Flora Purim, Sikiru Adepoju & Vikku Vinayakram /
Minuano by Pat Metheny and Lyle Mays /
Bones by Mickey Hart, Zakir Hussain, Babatunde Olatunji, and Flora Purim /
Udu Chant by Sikiru Adepoju, Mickey Hart, Zakir Hussain, and Airto Moreira / Appalachian Morning by Paul Halley
90.80 3rd DIII
1995 Cinematic Impressions Theme Song (from Speed) by Howard Shore / The Wedding Night by Bernard Herrmann /
A Perilous Direction and The Honeymoon & The Creation (from Frankenstein) by Patrick Doyle
2nd DIII
1996 To the Edge Taiko Drumming (Original) / Rhythm of the Saints by Paul Simon / Cirque du Soleil by René Dupéré 94.00
1st DIII
1997 Passport Ghost Train (from The Ghost Train Triptych) / The Ride (from The Ghost Train) /
At the Station & The Motive Revolution (from The Ghost Train Triptych) / Bullet (from The Ghost Train)
All by Eric Whitacre
1st DIII
1998 Dragon Dance - Tan Dun Dragon Dance by Tan Dun / Happy Valley by Vanessa-Mae / The Butterfly Lovers by Chen Gang and He Zhanhao 93.80
1st DIII
1999 Transformations Overture & Make Our Garden Grow (from Candide) / Symphonic Suite (from On the Waterfront)
All by Leonard Bernstein
1st DIII
2000 Katachi--
The Essence of Design
Heroes Symphony & V2 Schneider by Philip Glass /
Anakin's Theme, The Droid Battle, Panaka & Duel of the Fates (from Star Wars Episode I) by John Williams
2nd DII
2001 Festival of Music Music for a Festival, Variations on an Enigma, Mountain Song & Partita by Philip Sparke 97.80
1st DII
2002 Year of the Dragon Year of the Dragon by Philip Sparke / Montage by Peter Graham /
A London Overture & Diversions by Philip Sparke
3rd DII
2003 Black Market Bazaar Symphony No.2 in B Minor, Polovetsian Dances (from Prince Igor) &
In the Steppes of Central Asia by Alexander Borodin /
Bacchanale (from Samson and Delilah) by Camille Saint-Saëns
80.30 18th
2004 Samurai Red Warrior by Hans Zimmer / Ouverture Solennelle by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky /
Tabidachi, Nishi he (Departure to the West) by Joe Hisaishi / Bullet by Wong /
The Way of the Sword by Hans Zimmer
77.75 20th
2005 Loves Me... Loves Me Not... Adagio from Spartacus by Aram Khachaturian /
Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini (variation 18) by Sergei Rachmaninoff /
Vibraphonissimo & Nuevo Tango by Astor Piazzolla / Symphonic Dances, Mvt. III by Sergei Rachmaninoff
78.10 17th
2006 Rhythm Nation Martillo by Luis Garay Percussion World / Egyptian Danza by Al Di Meola / Back Home by Nando Lauria /
Din Daa Daa by George Kranz / Rhythm Nation by James Harris, Terry Lewis. and Janet Jackson /
Clapping Music by Steve Reich / Episode - Prelude by Nando Lauria/
Tell it All & The Way Up by Lyle Mays and Pat Metheny
77.875 17th
2007 Dragon Dance Tea in Chinese Camp, Call of the Mountain (from Gates of Gold) & Shadow and Light by Joseph Curiale /
Battle in the Forest (from House of Flying Daggers) by Shigeru Umebayashi / Jubiliation Dragon Dance by Tan Dun
75.20 21st
2008 River Wind River by Joseph Curiale / Cajun Folksong by Frank Ticheli /
Sunrise (from Grand Canyon Suite) by Ferde Grofé /
Inferno (from Divine Comedy) by Robert W. Smith
77.925 19th
2009 ABSOLUTE Absolute Fanfare: Festive Overture by Dmitri Shostakovich / Absolute Passion: Libertango by Astor Piazzola /
Absolute Joy: Ode to Joy (from Ninth Symphony) by Ludwig van Beethoven /
Joy (Traditional) / Christmas Anthem by Robert W. Smith /
Absolute Rhythm & Absolute Velocity Partita by Phillip Sparke
79.65 18th
2010 To Dream of Far Away Lands Meetings Along the Edge by Philip Glass and Ravi Shankar / The Mountain of Fruit and Flowers by David Buckley /
Samudra Manthan by Shivkumar Sharma / Quiet by Sheila Chandra, Steve Coe, and Martin Smith /
Ever So Lonely by Steve Coe / Ambush from Ten Sides (Chinese traditional)
78.10 19th
2011 The Forty Thieves:
An Ancient Tale of Spices, Toxins,
and Perfumes
Octabones by Adi Morag / Spices, Perfumes, and Toxins by Avner Dorman 75.70 21st
2012 Prophecy Prophecy by Key Poulan 71.60 23rd
Journey of the Paper Sons
The Promise of a Better Life, Journey to America, Interrogation, and Freedom by Key Poulan 79.750 18th
2014 UnbreakABLE:
The Human Spirit is Limitless
Original compositions by Key Poulan with Tony Nunez and Kevin Shaw 78.150 21st
2015 RESURRECTION I. The Awakening / II. Warrior / III. The Dynasty of the Emperor / IV. Forever in Stone
by Key Poulan with Sean Womack and Mark Hunter
76.425 20th
2016 Forbidden Forest I. Into the Forest /
II. The Calling (Inspired by Devilish Love from Hemingway’s Garden of Eden) /
III. Our Demons Within /
IV. Triumph of our Inner Self
All by Key Poulan, Mark Hunter, & Sean Womack
The Calling by Roger Julia
81.200 17th
2017 Inside the Ink Flow by Key Poulan, Darren Van Derpoel, and Bryan Nungaray
Drip by Key Poulan, Darren Van Derpoel, and Bryan Nungaray
Allure – The Sound of Silence by Paul Simon
Ink – Crazy by Willie Nelson
Inside the Ink by Key Poulan, Darren Van Derpoel, and Bryan Nungaray
85.550 13th
2018 Life Rite After String Quartet #8 in C minor Opus 110 (Allegro Molto) by Dmitri Shostakovich /
Spiriti by Thomas Doss / True Colors by Tom Kelly and Billy Steinberg
88.150 10th
2019 subTerra Ritual and Discovery by Key Poulan and Ike Jackson / On the Shoulders of Giants by Peter Graham /
Truman Sleeps by Philip Glass / Allure by Key Poulan /
Run, Boy, Run by Yoann Lemoine and Ambroise Willaume / Sacrifice by Key Poulan and Ike Jackson
89.300 10th
2020 Season cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic
2021 Beyond the Canvas In The Air Tonight by Phil Collins / Stand Up by Cynthia Ervio & Joshua Brian Campbell /
Original compositions by Key Poulan, Bryan Harmsen, Ben Pyles, & Andy Filipiak
2022 THE OTHERSIDE Another Brick In The Wall (Part 2) by Roger Waters / Otherside by Avi Kaplan /
The Wall, The Revolution, and The Disintegration by Key Poulan, Bryan Harmsen, Ben Pyles, and Andy Filipiak
90.013 10th

Traditions[edit | edit source]


The Mandarins "M"[edit | edit source]

The calligraphic representation of the "Mandarins M" is the corps's logo; it resembles '\\\. Veteran members frequently get an "M" tattoo as a memento of their membership in the corps.

Year of the Dragon[edit | edit source]

The Mandarins' corps song is a chorale section of Philip Sparke's Year of the Dragon, Part 2. During the week of finals, the hornline surrounds the age-outs and plays Year of the Dragon for them. Also, anytime someone in the corps has to leave during tour, the hornline circles up around him or her, and plays the piece for them. After the piece is played, generally, the corps then gives a huge group hug to the person that is leaving. Lastly, the piece is played to kick off the season and start tour.

Corps Necklace[edit | edit source]

Towards the end of the season, members of the hornline receive a necklace with a Chinese coin and a shako link on it. The silver shako link shows that the member marched before 2013, the corp's 50th anniversary. A golden link means that the member marched on or after 2013. The number of chains corresponds to the number of years marched.

Reno Crew Jackets[edit | edit source]

Due to the corp's close proximity to Reno, Nevada, the group that comes from Reno is known as the "Reno Crew". Traditionally, the crew attaches shako links to their member jackets. There seems to be no explanation as to why this tradition started, but the Reno Crew are the only members to do this.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. "Corps". Drum Corps International. Retrieved 24 February 2018.
  2. "Mandarins raise the bar with inaugural Finals bid". Drum Corps International. 11 August 2018. Retrieved 12 August 2018.
  3. "Sacramento Mandarins Drum & Bugle Corps". Retrieved 28 March 2018.
  4. "Mandarins / History". DCX: The Drum Corps Xperience. Retrieved 28 March 2018.
  5. "Sacramento Mandarins Partner with Sac State". The Mandarins of Sacramento, Inc. Retrieved May 17, 2015.
  6. "Sacramento Mandarins". Retrieved 28 March 2018.
  7. "Mandarins/Repertoire". DCX: The Drum Corps Xperience. Retrieved 6 March 2018.

External links[edit | edit source]