I have been involved with the Mandarins for the past 35 years - first as a member, then as an instructor, then as a parent of a member and now on the administrative staff. The Mandarins has had a hand in shaping me as an individual. I learned to come out of my shell by meeting amazing people in the corps. We created life-long friendships that last today.
The corps has instilled values in its members that is unlike any other organization that I am aware of. Members come in as good musicians and leave as great young adults. They learn values such as hard work, teamwork, perseverance, respect all while travelling the country and meeting life-long friends.
Review from Guidestar
Being a member of the Mandarins has transformed my life in the best of ways.
When I went to my very first rehearsal camp, I had no idea what I was getting in to. After just a couple of hours, my performance skills had been refined tremendously. After a couple of weeks, I learned that the only way to achieve excellence is by earning it. After a couple of months, at the end of my first national tour, I realized that the Mandarins had given me a family that knows no boundaries; each person within the organization is both a friend and mentor. After a couple of years, I am still baffled at how the skills I learned with this drum corps translate into my personal, professional, and academic life.
I am involved with these people as a fan, performer, and volunteer. I passionately feel that everyone who wants to experience what the Mandarins has to offer should be able to, so I have also sponsored some of my friends to help them pay their tour fees as well as pay my own. One of the best parts is looking around at the end of a season and seeing how the Mandarins has had a positive impact on every single person you shared a performance with. Nothing in the world could compare to what I have found in this amazing organization.
This has been my first year in the Sacramento Mandarins and it has been the single most memorable event in my life so far. This organization has helped me improve drastically in many areas of my life including personal responsibility, focus, and has changed me as a person in many positive ways. The Mandarins are such a culturally rich and diverse group it is such a joy to be with all those people every day. I am so glad i got a chance to experience a summer with this wonderful organization and I can only hope and wait for the next opportunity I get to be with this group again. Thanks Mandarins Forever '\\\
I have been a part of this activity for two years, and it has been one of the single most life-bettering experiences of my life. Nothing compares to the mental, emotional, and physical changes you go through while being a part of Mandarins whether you are a member, on staff, a volunteer, or just a spectator. The drum corps activity is such an amazing thing to witness and be a part of, and the Mandarins are the epitome of one of DCI's great organizations.
I've known and participated with this organization for 5 years now ad everything about it is absolutely amazing. The staff knows what they are talking about as well as capable of teaching it in a fun, and easy way. They have helped me grow into the person I've always wanted to be; honest, hardworking, respectful, confident, and most of all, I got a second family when I joined, a family that continually grows and gets closer. The Mandarins are truly an excellent organization that everyone should have the chance if being a part of.
Review from Guidestar
I have been a member of this organization for three years. This group has given me confidence in my everyday life to keep pushing towards my goals in college as a music major. I received silks of the best information in this activity and I have made lifelong friends from it. I have traveled the country and seen more than most people would dare risk. This amazing organization gives you the opportunity of a lifetime while teaching you how to be respectful and just a good human being. This group has given me a second family. They have let me perform in front of thousands of people and gave me responsibilities that most people wouldn't give someone my age. They believe in you from the first time you show up to auditions and never doubt you for a second. Thank you mandarins fit letting me spend three amazing years with you.
Review from Guidestar
When my son first came to me and said that he wanted to join a drum corps, I had no idea what was in store for him. I thought that he was going to attend a few camps, and give a few performances as he had done in his high school marching band. I was hopeful that this activity would get him out of the house and away from video games for a few hours. I also hoped that he would make a few friends while doing so.
He auditioned for and was offered a spot in this phenomenal corps known as the Sacramento Mandarins. He joined 135 people all between the ages 15 through 21, waking up at 7 a.m. ready to tackle a 16-hour day full of intense athletic training, mind-boggling mental tests, and hardly any breaks, six days a week for three solid months.
The Sacramento Mandarins is a world-class drum corps. They join 50 other open and world-class course who travel the country, sleeping on buses and in gymnasiums, enduring heat, rain, bugs, and exhaustion while competing five nights a week for a span of three months, just to reach that single goal of becoming of giving it their all in performing their best at the DCI World Championships.
Most people mistake the activity for one that doesn’t require any athleticism because it involves music. They are sadly mistaken. Due to an intense rehearsal schedule and the difficulty level of a drum corps’ repertoire, drum corps members must maintain the speed and strength of a running back, the endurance of a cross-country runner, the flexibility of a dancer, and the mentality of a golfer. In addition, drum corps train for months on end, day and night, which is completely different from a high school or college marching band which practices at most five days a week with only a few hours of rehearsal a day.
In the span of a few short weeks I watched my son grow and change from a somewhat withdrawn and stumbling boy to a young man filled with confidence and purpose. He learned time management. Before he joined the Sacramento Mandarins, he required constant reminders to complete his homework and even turn it in. The summer he returned he announced he wanted to finish high school one year early, said his goal, and carried nine classes each semester to attain this goal. And he did it with a 3.85 GPA. He learned leadership skills and the value of teamwork. He learned healthy eating habits and the value of daily exercise. When the Mandarins auditioned again, he was there and toured for the second time this summer. I have continued to see him grow in his leadership abilities and in his confidence. He has set a goal to become a music educator and is enrolled in his first semester at college. I do not think he would be where he is today had he not been a member of this remarkable corps.
Review from Guidestar