Sheila Bugler Biography & Facts
The Mandarins Drum and Bugle Corps is a World Class competitive drum and bugle corps. Based in Sacramento, California, the Mandarins is a member corps of Drum Corps International (DCI). 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.
The corps was founded in 1963 as the Ye Wah Drums and Lyras Corps, an activity for youth of Chinese-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 and repeated in 2019 .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.
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. JW Koester is the corps director, Jim Tabuchi is the executive director, and Raymond Mar is the organization's advisor and director emeritus.
Show summary (1978-2022)
Source:Gold background indicates DCI Championship; pale blue background indicates DCI Class Finalist; pale green background indicates DCI semifinalist.
Year of the Dragon
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.
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