2018 Scores & Reviews

98.625 – Santa Clara Vanguard
97.350 – Blue Devils
96.950 – Bluecoats
95.500 – Carolina Crown
92.312 – Boston Crusaders
93.212 – Cavaliers
92.225 – Cadets
90.050 – Blue Stars
88.925 – Blue Knights
88.150 – Mandarins
86.950 – Phantom Regiment
86.750 – Crossmen

GO MANDARINS! Have the run of your life right here!! Congrats on making it to finals!!– DasTuba

Excited to see Mandarins for the first time this season! — KRtrumpet182

Standing ovation for Mandarins. — bluesman

Ominous sounds from a small brass ensemble on the front of the field before the full horn line blows our brains out with their sound. First drum corps to march a full trombone line in DCI and they make Finals. That’s how good this sounds. Key Poulan really did a great job arranging this book. Some really gorgeous music the brass gets to play. — kevingamin

This is DCI history! — wvu80

Those trombones are used to good musical and visual effect. I have internalized anxiety from this part. It’s so dissonant. I love it. — Toby

LED rifles. Surprised we haven’t seen that before in DCI. — kevingamin

Love the way the front ensemble utilizes the hand bells. — Jeffe77

Hornline playing a crapload of notes into this finale. Nice push back into Old 100th. Take it home Mellos. — Toby

Congratulations to the Mandarins for their first finals appearance. A wonderful yet extremely bizarre performance. I would hope for a fate much better for the poor girl sacrificed…now for the show that would make sense before the life rite after. I guess the life before the life rite after. — The Planets

ROAR from the crowd as Mandarins finish! — kevingamin

Welcome to the top 12 Mandarins. I hope you stay for a very long time. — bluesman

Awesome Mandarins. Great job. Congrats on making it to Finals and making it count. — Jeffe77

Legit teared up at that last insane trombone gliss up in the final chords. I’m so thrilled for Mandarins!!!! They deserved every bit of tonight! — Jake W.

It wouldn’t surprise me if they jump another spot. Great show.– year1buick

Didn’t think anything could surpass Sound of Silence, I was wrong… — whitedj2002

Mandarins performed in finals for the first time and gave us a show to remember. For me, last night had a bit more passion, but that could be on my part knowing it was the performance that would guarantee a finals spot. Tonight appeared more polished and was probably an overall better performance, but this is not the last we’ll hear from Mandarins. — Tim K

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. — MikeRapp

98.263 – Santa Clara Vanguard
96.750 – Blue Devils
96.588 – Bluecoats
95.475 – Carolina Crown
94.588 – Boston Crusaders
93.537 – Cavaliers
91.862 – Cadets
90.475 – Blue Stars
89.037 – Blue Knights
88.662 – Mandarins
97.700 – Phantom Regiment
87.250 – Crossmen

Gooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo purple band!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Make history — grenadasmoothis

Alright, Mandarins. The entirety of the drum corps universe wants to see you performing again tomorrow night. Lay down an incredible performance. No pressure ; ) — Jake W.

Go Mandarins! Get your weird on with swagger! — KVG_DC

I always forget about this opening hit until I’m already knocked out of my seat. — quijeros

People in the theater last night couldn’t stop talking about the guard headgear, how crazy it was and how they wanted one. — KVG_DC

Mandarins’ guard should be in first place, and if the judge thinks otherwise, he is wrong. — MusicalFrog

What they do with True Colors is just fantastic. Completely unexpected coming out of the gate from what I thought it might be when they announced. — KVG_DC

This LONG and methodical True Colors build up takes its time in all the most perfect of ways. — Jake W.

The hornline entrance after the drum break is my favorite part of this Mandarins show. — quijeros

The body work in the transition out of True Colors has really become a thing too. The whole corps moves as one organic thing,. — KVG_DC

That trombone gliss at the end is by far the best part of the show. I think we’ll be seeing them one final time tomorrow. — Cadevilina Crown

Bravo Mandarins — Cop

The Mandarins were on FIRE tonight. — OS2020

I see zero conceivable way for Mandarins not to perform on Saturday night. That performance was electric. — quijeros

Mandarins…two things: Welcome to finals with that run. another strong run like that you may take down Phantom…seriously — Sideways

WOW WOW WOW WOW Mandarins What a phenomenal SHOW loved that weird ABSOLUTELY loved it! — Liahona

I’m absolutely mesmerized!!! Welcome to the top 12 Mandarins. — bluesman

This is amazing. Key Poulan III and Key Poulan IV together in the Mandarins! — quijeros

Mandarins SO impressive! The look, the sound, the mystique. If fans don’t see them again, a refund is in order ! — Fred Windish

Mandarins did a better job than last night, but I have a feeling tomorrow night will be even stronger between the show’s potential and the adrenaline that will kick in for their first finals performance. — Tim K

96.800 – Santa Clara Vanguard
95.963 – Blue Devils
95.213 – Bluecoats
94.263 – Carolina Crown
92.862 – Boston Crusaders
92.688 – Cavaliers
91.150 – Cadets
89.025 – Blue Stars
87.713 – Blue Knights
87.150 – Phantom Regiment
86.775 – Mandarins
86.425 – Crossmen

Moly holy… Mandarins were Dynamite. I know I’ll make some people ticked off, but I love the way trombones add to the total brass ensemble. — Tony Flores

Friggin awesome Mandarins!!– quijeros

96.300 – Santa Clara Vanguard
94.825 – Bluecoats
93.800 – Carolina Crown
92.900- Boston Crusaders
91.950 – Cavaliers
87.100 – Blue Knights
86.950 – Mandarins
85.800 – Crossmen

All right. I am in the press box just in time for Mandarins’ dancer to dance herself to death. Also, it’s fun that the pit plays Shostakovich after Stravinsky describes the premise behind Rite of Spring. HUGE sound from the horns when they first come in! I see people applauding already. My first viewing of Mandarins live. These uniforms look even better in person. Already, the Mandarins have made use of micced brass ensembles on the front sideline twice.. Also, there’s that trombone line, the first line to march a full show in DCI. Half the guard is on the center stage wielding rifles. The guard uniforms are perfect for this show. Mandarins just went full out on the weird this year and you can’t hep but get drawn into it. Nice use of the Doxology throughout. Our dead dancer dreams of deliverance. Mandarins making a lot of use of discord in this show. Stravinsky would be proud. Snares and tenors on the stage for their feature, while the stage rotates, no less. Great GE! That ending to True Colors is haunting. Oh, yeah, forgot about the LED rifles! But what nobody talks about is the brass line going NUTS while the rifles are doing their thing! Great unison note, mellos, and great crescendo to the release! The dnacer’s costume lights up, too! — kevingamin

Spectacular job Mandarins! — mfrontz

Mandarins were on fire! First time seeing them live and they were terrific. Looking forward to watching this corps throughout the following years! — trumpetmaster11

95.350 – Blue Devils
94.200 – Bluecoats
92.350 – Cavaliers
92.300 – Boston Crusaders
87.950 – Blue Knights
87.450 – Blue Stars
87.150 – Mandarins
83.850 – The Academy
83.200 – Colts
81.450 – Madison Scouts

94.075 – Blue Devils
87.825 – Cadets
85.550 – Mandarins
74.325 – Crossmen
82,175 – Colts
76.750 – Pacific Crest
68.950 – Jersey Surf

93.675 – Santa Clara Vanguard
93.250 – Blue Devils
92.775 – Bluecoats
91.525 – Carolina Crown
89.950 – Boston Crusaders
89.925 – Cavaliers
87.487 – Cadets
86.250 – Blue Stars
95.925 – Blue Knights
84.650 – Phantom Regiment
84.550 – Mandarins
83.763 – Crossmen
83.162 – Spirit of Atlanta
81.500 – The Academy
80.325 – Colts
79.300 – Madison Scouts
78.112 – Troopers
76.325 – Pacific Crest
73.725 – Music City
72.800 – Oregon Crusaders
71.125 – Genesis
68.800 – Seattle Cascades
67.275 – Jersey Surf
63.325 – Pioneer

Tarps make so much sense of where the corps are as this show begins its descent into the afterlife. There’s a ton of little details like that I’ve started to notice. And now True Colors where the sacrificed start to embrace the weirdness of this afterlife. — KVG_DC

KEEP SACRAMENTO WEIRD — 2muchcoffeeman

Mandarins’ show is so deliciously weird!! So enthralling! Love it!!! — Higgy

i love how the battery marches on the prop as it moves. so simple but so awesome — ZachDrumCorps

Tarps make the field into a giant eye from up high. It’s a Very Fine Design. — KVG_DC

Mandarins need to break top 10. What. A. Show. They were on FIRE. — kinetic inferno11

If they somehow miss finals, they should release their own blu ray disc of this season. — DVG_DC

never notice guards. Mandarins guard caught my attention and held it. They’re absolutely fantastic. I’ve never seen anything like this show before. What a unique show. — shofmon88

I’m nuts about that show. Mandarins really hit it out of the park the year. That trombone gliss up on the final chord made every ounce of me smile with joy. — Jake W.

Wow, just could not stop watching for a moment. Riveting. Thank you Mandarins and J.W. for a truly unique show design this year.! — HouserCD

Every component of that Mardarins show is now finals worthy. I was concerned about the snare line earlier in the season. They have done the work and cleaned it. They’re ready. — 27Socal

WOW Mandarins…so much to :inlove: in that show…as creepy as it is…haha Awesome guard…great brass..a show with an interesting theme… BRAVO! — Liahona

I don’t always like dark and creepy shows. Mandarins does it for me. I liked it much better in person – the camera just doesn’t capture it well. — TerriTroop

Fresh & unique is the best way to say it. They’ve really managed to put something on the field that’s pretty different than the vast majority of what has been done in years passed. And that fresh spin on the activity from a non-top 6 corps, nonetheless. Gotta love that. — Jake W.

Well, it seems pretty clear to me that the strongest section in the Mandarins Corps this season is their Guard. So far, this is the best show integrated Guard of any of the Corps thats performed so far. Thats how you do it. Other Corps in close proximity to the Mandarins placement wise the last few years, might want to study how the Mandarins feature their Guard in this years 2018 production to see how and why they are moving up the pecking order. Mandarins Percussion is not all that strong this season in their mix of Corps at this level either. It need not be however. Congrats to the Mandarins for figuring out what drives the points on the current sheets. They are a lock for Finals now, and deservedly so, imo — BRASSO

I agree, Mandarins guard is SUPER STRONG. It makes a HUGE difference! I am still in total awe after watching them. Absolutely incredible. I can remember when they were at the bottom and their biggest competition was Pioneer. Zero offence meant to Pioneer, of course. I love Pio! But I’m so happy to see the Mandarins rise to finals, and my hope is that Pioneer will someday take that leap as well! What a crazy amazing year for drum corps! I’m loving every moment of it! — r_karolsson

87.00 – Blue Knights
85.00 – Phantom Regiment
84.80 – Mandarins
82.70 – Spirit of Atlanta
80.10 – Troopers
77.85 – Pacific Crest
73.60 – Music City
67,00 – Seattle Cascades

Wow! Mandarins just 2 tenths off of Phantom — bluesman

Here come the Mandarins. I think they’ll pass Regiment on Saturday Night. When I saw them at the Rose Bowl, I figured it was just a matter of time. Their show gets people out of their seats, as opposed to putting them to sleep. — tim_brandt

I didn’t think they were gonna get this close to Phantom. Great job by the CG. They outscored both BK and Phantom by a lot. — Mega

So much GE, compared to almost none. And a great colorguard. Seems like a huge advantage. Have you seen them, yet? It’s good stuff. — tim_brandt

Yes, a lot of buzz regarding the Mandies and it is entertaining! Congrats to their CG! The little tweaks are adding up for them and they appear to be on a mission. — DCIDADDIO

Indeed. I can only imagine the difference in morale, as well. Momentum is on their side. Must be hype to be trying to knock of one of the ‘big boy’ corps. Hard not to root for them. Exciting season! — tim_brandt

The staff is really getting the corps ready. Scores are tight and high. I remember the old days if you hit 80, you had a great chance of making finals. Now it looks like it’ll be the upper 80s. — Mega

Beating Phantom would be huge for Mandarins to accomplish and a boost for them. No doubt that they’ll have extra motivation to keep improving. Can’t wait to see the changes on Saturday. — Mega

91.725 – Bluecoats
89.700 – Cavaliers
84.400 – Mandarins
83.050 – Spirit of Atlanta
80.100 – Madison Scouts
79.300 – Troopers
68.000 – Jersey Surf
61.200 – Pioneer

90.700 – Carolina Crown
89.300 – Boston Crusaders
83.950 – Mandarins
79.500 – Madison Scouts
65.700 – Jersey Surf
65.550 – Seattle Cascades
60.400 – Pioneer

92.325 – Santa Clara Vanguard
90.975 – Blue Devils
90.675 – Bluecoats
90.088 – Carolina Crown
88.412 – The Cavaliers
88.250 – Boston Crusaders
85.838 – The Cadets
84.200 – Blue Knights
84.013 – Blue Stars
83.725 – Phantom Regiment
82.175 – Mandarins
80.850 – Crossmen
79.725 – The Academy
78.188 – Spirit of Atlanta
77.825 – Colts
77.225 – Madison Scouts
76.050 – Troopers
72.175 – Pacific Crest
70.500 – Music City
69.813 – Oregon Crusaders
67.950 – Genesis
65.275 – Jersey Surf
65.175 – Seattle Cascades
60.025 – Pioneer

This Mandarins show has a bit of the feel of a modern day Magic of Orlando show (version 1 – the dark and creepy shows, not after they came back from inactivity). It’s just a bit off and weird and very original. I LOVE that and it is an approach than has been missing for too long. — Cop

It is shows like Mandarins that keeps drum corps alive and vital as an art form. — quietcity

It is shows like Mandarins that keeps drum corps alive and vital as an art form. — DCI-86

Well, definitely not your dad’s drum corps! I think they broke some new ground which is hard to do in today’s corps world. — Geneva

Wow. Mandarins are making Finals this season. Wow. Congrats. Great show. — BoyWonder1911

Seeing Mandarin’s improvement since Clovis makes me realize the online conversations, I can’t wait to see them in FINALS! That guard!! Brilliant writing and excellence! LOVED IT! — whitedj2002

Holy smokes Mandarins, good on ya!!! What a show! So much growth in design and performance, I’m really excited to see if they can keep it pushing all the way to the end. It’ll be something special if they can! — Pizazzman

Standing O from the crowd. The guard brought the house down! — MikeN

From the end of the ballad to the end of the show is just pure awesomeness. — caliswift

OMG the Mandarins show keeps getting better and better. Got to see a good shot of my kid too! — IDrum4JC

The light up riles are awesomely implemented. I love that they can turn them off then flip them on as they make their ripple toss. — KVG_DC

Ooh I like the new ending. Great build up — Cappybara

Wow Mandarins. — MusicalFrog

wow what an engaging ending — WarriorWay

Just wow, Mandarins! — dcsnare93

Wow that brass feature sounds SO MUCH cleaner than at the beginning of the season it sounds completely different — Cappybara

Oooooo LED rifles — Dpsouthern81

two words: ike jackson 🙂 — ZachDrumCorps

Bravo Key Poulin! Extraordinary music book! Great run Mandarins! — pbeau

DANG I love their sound — Cop

This is about to be my favorite of the night. There are a lot of corps this year really trying to capture a specific “mood” and I don’t think any corps does that better than this year’s Mandarins. The source music they use is just perfect . Like I said before, this Mandarins show really tries to capture a mood. I can see why that may come off as horn accompaniment with guard as the main feature. Those soloists are really what drive the first half of the show, but that’s because they are very closely following their source music. I honestly think this is one of the most musically entertaining shows this year though. Not a dull moment — Cappybara

Mandarins= GE-orama! And for me, start to finish eye candy. — POSITIVenrgy

No other corps looks or sounds like Mandarins. They are carving out a place in finals that is unique and original. I absolutely love this corps. — bluesman

87.500 – Bluecoats
84.450 – Boston Crusaders
81.650 – Blue Stars
80.500 – Mandarins
75.425 – Colts
69.600 – Pacific Crest
67.700 – Oregon Crusaders

87.350 – Blue Devils
87.125 – Bluecoats
85.925 – Carolina Crown
85.025 – Cavaliers
84,575 – Boston Crusaders
82.175 – The Cadets
80.600 – Blue Stars
80.438 – Phantom Regiment
79.500 – Mandarins
77.875 – Crossmen
76.850 – Spirit of Atlanta
75.075 – Madkison Scouts
85.050 – Colts
66.700 – Music City
65.900 – Genesis
63.600 – Jersey Surf
68.425 – Pioneerf

I LOOOOOVE this show and all its dark strangeness! — POSITIVenrgy

Oh the stage rotating with the battery feature. Neat! Where has this guard been placing? They make this show work in so many ways. The True Colors ballad is a musical highlight. This NEEDS to make finals so we have it in Blu Ray forever– KVG_DC

This NEEDS to make finals so we have it in Blu Ray forever — GeorgiaPitMom

That show is just great! Delightfully dark, quirky, and weird. That ending is pure drum corps! Needs to clean up some, and build that stamina, but wow! — Reed

Mandarins’ guard is top 6 good! Wonderfully effective. — NakedEye

Great show from Mandarins. Totally readable, and even if you don’t want to interrogate the meaning, the effects keep it interesting. Well done. — Slingerland

I love everything about Mandarins this year. They have a unique look and sound that sets them apart from other corps. The question is not whether they will make finals, the question is how far up they will land. — bluesman


Moving the stage off like that reminds me of that strange Pikmin game. Also having the one MM on it directing things carries the tone of the show through their exit. There’s a consistent “presence” they have this year that works so well from the time they take the field to the exit.Honestly. I’m having the same reaction as the first read at DCI West. “I’d like to rewind and see that again. RIGHT NOW.” — KVG_DC

I love what I’m seeing from Mandarins the past few seasons. Thank you, JW and your entire staff! — CrownBariDaf

I can’t quite put my finger on what the exact story Mandarins are trying to tell is, but the music and imagery is so #### cool that I don’t mind at all — ZachDrumCorps

Mandarins SO much better live! Its freaky and weird and totally awesome. Last year brass seemed to be their weak point but they have clearly resolved that issue. Guard continues to slay. Loved it. — FLBuzcut

Love this brass book from the Mandarins. Beautiful. Interesting nuances. Fresh. Has its own sound. My first full read of this show. Wow. What a great follow up to last year. This corps is going places. — luv4corps

I think that Mandarins can break top 10 when they get the stamina for the ending. Some real good stuff going on for them! — kineti inferno11

Amazing show Mandarins. It’s so dark and atmospheric, it’s solidly a finalist corps for me. — Narrow

78.75 – Blue Stars
78.60 – Mandarins
77.45 – Crossmen
74.30 – Colts
67.45 – Genesis

And Mandarin guard content scores are close to the big boys! Proud of them for that! Their book is great! — kinetic inferno11

Mandarins tying for 1st in GE is major for them. That’s the kind of thing they need to keep them in the hunt with that pack. — brassboy

As I said last night, it looks like the Mandarins/Blue Stars rivalry is back. Great stuff!! — CAtenhut

78.40 – Mandarins
77.60 – Blue Stars
73.80 – Colts
67.30 – Genesis

I think we can be fairly confident that the Mandarins are a finalist corps. It’s great to see a corps with as much history as the Mandarins have this success. — Terri Schehr

Way to go Mandarins. — caliswift

Mandarains! Not settling for twelfth! — Jurassic Lancer

Congratulations to the Mandarins !… this season is full of surprises! — BRASSO

Mandarins were on fire tonight. The crowd loves this show. Blue Stars are great too, but Mandarins resonate. Caught ensemble block this afternoon, very good. — SCVdrums

Congrats to Mandarins! Wouldn’t be surprised to see them beat Phantom too with a gap like that over Blue Stars. — Narrow

Congrats Mandarins! Can’t wait to see how high up you get in Indy! — quietcity

Way to go Mandies!!! 4.3 point gain is amazing – largest point gain of the season for any world cup corps! * With only 1 show in the previous 7 days they’ve really been working on cleaning some things up and have added a few new wrinkles. Looks like it paid off. — DCIdad

74.10 – Mandarins

WOW. Great show. I don’t want to put the cart before the horse, but I don’t think the question is if they make finals but how high can they go? I think they are looking at an outside chance for as high as 9! Go see this show!!!!! — GetOFFmyDot

Jesus, Mandarins aren’t letting up at all. Love it!!!! — Jake W.

78.70 – Blue Devils
72.35 – Mandarins
70.00 – The Academy
66.55 – Troopers

78.800 – Santa Clara Vanguard
78.050 – Blue Devils
72.200 – Blue Knights
70.750 – Mandarins
68.300 – The Academy
65.550 – Troopers
64.300 – Pacific Crest

Holy Cow Mandarins! The power in this show…by finals night should be phenomenal. and neon, LED (?) rifles? I bet they add more to this. — Mulder

MANDARINS!!!! OMG!!!! AMAZING!!!! Good luck keeping them out of finals!!! BK I love your show………but Mandarins are coming! Objects in your rear view mirror are closer than they appear. Great job Mandarins!!! And the lit up Rifles…….what a cool effect. Top ten show this year! — Chief Guns

For all you would be finalist contenders……….Mandarins just put you all on notice. — Chief Guns

75.75 – Santa Clara Vanguard
77,00 – Blue Devils
71.05 – Blue Knights
69.70 – Mandarins
66.65 – The Academy
64.40 – Troopers
63.05 – Pacific Crest
Oof, another crappy draw for Mandarins. If they draw in groups of 3, I don’t understand how they could even end up going on first out of 7. Ah well, good luck to everyone!! Looking forward to watching on Flo! –brassboy

I agree, Mandarins have a great show and have a legitimate chance at top 12. Should be on right before BK tonight. — DAYGO

Yeah – getting that draw two nights in a row is weird. Can anyone explain why the Mandarins are going on before 3 corps they scored higher than last season? — GetOFFmyDot

Mandarins’ color guard has been handily beating BK’s guard at EVERY show so far. C’mon, commentators, if you’re going to try to do this pre-game so seriously, at least know your stuff. — brassboy

Mandarins….. this is my first time seeing you and all I can say is WOW!!!! Completely lives up to all the hype I’ve heard!!!! — Crownie

OMG! Mandarins…amazing show. — PioSnareMom

Ok, Mandarins are one of the best shows of 2018! — pbeau

Wow Mandarins! Great Drum Corps in June. The prop works! — 1977Kingsmen

Well done Key Poulan! — BlueStainGlass

This show can break the top 10 when clean. So much energy! And that guard is on FIRE!!! — kinetic inferno11

I want this show in Finals. — quietcity

Nice job, Mandarins! (Yay JW!) –CrownBariDad

I am all about the Mandarins show this year. Bravo. — quijeros

Great show Mandarins! – Reed

75.55 – Santa Clara Vanguard
69.25 – Blue Knights
68.00 – Mandarins
63.00 – Troopers
62.35 – Pacific Crest

Mandarins are hungry for finals this year. That show is monstrous. So many great moments in that opener, with these shifts between dark and eerie to very powerful chords. That stage spins, and they make great use of it. Too bad they can’t use it tomorrow night at Pasadena (or so I’ve heard) The full time trombone section is a nice touch and have some great moments. Love this show. — Dyhrd

72.70 – Blue Devils
72.45 – Santa Clara Vanguard
66.80 – Blue Knights
66.20 – Mandarins
63.45 – The Academy
60.95 – Troopers

Mandarins just finished. Wow. This show is absolutely crazy good. Im struggling to see a way that this show does not make finals. One minor point of concern: the massive rotating stage in the center of the field is a BEAST to load in, assemble, and load out. They isn’t much room for error before time penalties might be a concern. I know they are working hard on working out all of the kinks, which is good. — GetOFFmyDot

One thing about the Mandarin’s – had the opportunity to hear the brass line from field level a couple of weeks ago, and I feel they are significantly better than a year ago, but not sure we’re seeing that yet on the score sheet. A more complex show flow this year, so maybe they’re a little slower out of the gate as a result. Will be interesting to see how that develops. — DCIdad

72.70 – Santa Clara Vanguard
72.10 – Blue Devils
67.05 – Blue Knights
64.75 – Mandarins
63.20 – The Academy
60.10 – Troopers

MANDARINS I LOVE YOU!!!! This HAS to get in Finals. For the second year they have had an incredibly original idea. THE STILT PEOPLE! — NakedEye

Wow theyve got some really tough and relatively clean looking drill there! Could they push into finals this year?? I wouldn’t be surprised, they sound fantastic — Cappybara

Sorry, just got my cognitive functions back. WHAT DID I JUST WITNESS?!?!? — MotoSurfBrass

Yeah, the circular stage in the middle rotates. It is pretty incredible. And there is more coming. Things that have never been seen in Drum Corps. They have stated from the beginning of the year that they not only want to make finals, they want to be a top 10 Corps. This show is fantastic. I can’t wait to see how it grows over the season!!! — GetOFFmyDot

They sound so big in the closer. This is gonna be a great show come August. You can feel the GE building. — KVG_DC

Wow Mandarins… Amazing show. Brass made a huge jump, more than I imagined. — Narrow

Mandarins were fantastic live. Brass was phenomenal — Clutchtow

The M. All I can say Wow. They are in it for finals. — and

71.30 – Blue Devils
70.70 – Santa Clara Vanguard
66.65 – Blue Knights
62.95 – Mandarins
61.55 – The Academy
58.05 – Troopers

My my my how far you’ve come Mandarins — KPinCAL

Mandarins, I lost my voice. — Sanguinarian22

Mandarin’s show has soooo much potential. It was great tonight, very dark, complex, aggressive etc. ”True Colors” ballad had a pre-recorded vocalist (I think). There was a lot of downtime for the horns, but when they came back in, a fantastic moment for sure. Most demand I’ve seen so far tonight. — Hirsbrunner

How do the Mandarins not have their own 2018 thread yet? Their best show ever and less than a point away from Finals last year, retaining many of their acclaimed staff members, bringing in Tim Snyder to be the new Brass Caption Head… This corps are going places. I cannot wait to hear the sweet sounds of summer from the Sacramento corps live. — Cadevilina Crown

A couple thoughts after being incredibly eager to see what the Mandarins would follow up last year’s break out show with. First & foremost, this is an incredibly fresh idea. This is not a theme that any nationally-known outdoor marching unit, DCI or BOA, has explored: what happens to the sacrificial virgin in Rite of Spring after she dances herself to death. I feel like I know my independent indoor groups, both guard & percussion, pretty well, and no one rings a bell as having used this in a gym before either. So….kudos to the design team for something so simple to understand & yet so unique. I feel like there is a lot to explore here while still leaving plenty of room for the trademark energy that the corps sufficiently branded themselves with last year. Most importantly, the initial announcement screams for conceptual depth….something we’re not used to seeing from this corps. Combining last year’s intensity with seems to be a more challenging concept/deeperdesign and all my chips are in. My only point of hesitation: as mentioned above, the source music was not discussed, other than the statement that Rite of Spring will not be used. I do hope we see the group utilizing more actual source music. It is my opinion that using original (or mostly original) Key Poulan scores will keep a glass ceiling over the corps. Sound of Silence was the musical high point of the show in 2017; the original brass book was mostly unmemorable in comparison. With corps in their tier last year using Husa, Bartok, Gordon Goodwin, Grieg, Wagner, Danny Elfman, Joni Mitchell….eh, Key Poulan just didn’t stack up, and basing their wind book off of more published music last year could really have pushed the group over that final hurdle. BUT, I digress. This sounds like a huge creative leap for the Mandarins in the form of a startlingly-untouched idea that could make for another memorable show. Throughout the last decade, it seems nearly impossible for up&coming corps to capture show magic in a bottle two years in a row, and this team sounds like they’ve assembled the right ideas to pull it off. I also loved that the designer avoided the usual fluff of just here for an educational experience and flat out said they intend to field a top 10 corps this year. Ballsy, and I would be flat out thrilled to see them achieve that! — Jake W.

Life Rite After Debut

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