Farewell to the 2022 Drum Corps Season

Finished, done, that’s a wrap, pack ’em up, gone, close the door – you make that call because the 2022 drum corps summer season is now finished. And what a finish it was! Another Top 10 finals performance, our third in three years, and our highest score ever in world class competition along with being the fans’ favorite drum corps performance time and time again. Yeah, not too shabby in my opinion.
Huge kudos to the corps members who were amazing all year long, to the design team and instructional staff who designed and taught an incredible program, to the kitchen crews, the Health & Wellness teams, the driving teams, the transportation teams, the social media teams, the souvie teams, the admin teams, and our friends and families who cheered us on at every event throughout the summer. They say it takes a village. Well, it takes a mighty big village to make this drum corps be successful, and successful we were. Every person played an integral part. It didn’t matter if it was for a single day or quite literally all 81 days, because without each person doing what they did, we could not do what we do. It was truly a team effort in all aspects of the word.
The corps’ finals night performance was everything we had hoped for. The corps sprinkled magical energy throughout the show from a performance/passion standpoint, along with the technical excellence that they displayed all season long, and they left nothing in the tank after it was over. The crowd’s spontaneous standing ovation was all the reward that we needed. Of course, scores and placement are important… after all, we are a competitive activity, but… when a magical performance like that happens … ya gotta go with it. And I truly believe that the tears that were shed were tears of happiness and joy for what we accomplished. And yes, there was sadness as well, making it just a little bittersweet as by midnight, the 2022 edition of the corps was done as an entity, never to be together again.
The corps held their 2022 year-end banquet the Sunday morning after finals. A grand time was had by all, but we were already missing some staff, some drivers, and some members, due to other life commitments. Now, all that is left are the memories, but what great memories they are! The friendships made, the long days of rehearsals, the freezing cold bus rides, the great food, traveling through so many states that most didn’t see because they were asleep, and they would wake up saying, “Where are we???” And again, the amazing performances time and time again, holding their hearts and passion out for the audience to take and cherish – wow! Just wow! 
I’d like to thank all our sponsors and partners for their amazing support throughout the summer – Innovative Percussion, Remo, Jupiter, Majestic, Mapex, KHS America, Creative Costuming & Designs, Creative Solutions, Fruhauf, DSI, Zildjian, Darren Stack (props), Team IP, Mandarins Alumni Association, and Village Travel. Without your support, we couldn’t do what we do on the field.
I’d also like to thank the Mandarins Board of Directors for their ongoing support and positive energy as we battled through unheard-of fuel and food costs that no one expected could go so high. To our Fandarins, alumni, and other supporters who donated time and money (Sponsor-a-Meal, Big Day of Giving, Rocky Mountain Rivalry, 5K run/walk annual campaign) to ensure that we would get through the season – you are all champions in my eyes. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
And now, it’s time to move on to 2023. Wait, what??? We have four more months of 2022 to go! And yes, that is correct, but for the drum corps, it’s time to evaluate what worked and what didn’t, time to recruit new members for the 2023 season, time to start thinking about the 2023 show, and yes, the 1001 things that no one wants to think about because they aren’t fun to do, but are essential to our continued success – budget, fundraising, fleet maintenance, new equipment, repair old equipment, build props, find housing – all those backside things that need to happen each year – and guess what – we’re already on it!
So, again – thank you to everyone for making this such a special year. Cherish the memories, tuck them away where you can always find them, and revisit them.
Take care, and because I can – It’s Live, It’s Real, It’s Mandarins 2023!!!
Corps Director

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