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Sacramento Mandarins Finishes Historic 60th Anniversary Season With New Records

Sacramento, Calif. (August 24th, 2023) –  In grand celebration of its 60th anniversary, the Sacramento Mandarins have returned from the DCI World Championships in Indianapolis, Indiana with a record-breaking score of 93.775 and an all-time record-high placement of 6th place. With a growing reputation as one of the best corps in the nation, the Mandarins have now become DCI World Class Finalists (Top 12 in the world) in each of the past four competitive seasons. This year, the corps jumped from their previous placement of 10th place in 2022 to 6th place to finish the 2023 season.

“Wow, wow, WOW!!! I don’t have any other way to describe the 2023 season. When the design team finished putting together the show, we knew we had created something good. But we didn’t know just how good IT would be. The corps members were solid as performers. But we didn’t know just how good THEY would be. Well, at the first show, we got our first inkling that we had something pretty special as the judges were very impressed with the show and the members were already performing at a high level. And, at just about every subsequent show the corps was setting new standards and breaking scoring records,” Corps Director JW Koester noted in his recent blog article on the Mandarins Website.

While competing in Indianapolis, the corps also received another award. JW Koester, corps director for the Mandarins, was awarded the Dr. Bernard Baggs Leadership Award, which annually recognizes the World Class Director of the Year as voted on and determined by World Class directors. Noted from the DCI website, Koester, a longtime educator, designer and administrator within the drum corps activity, has been the Mandarins corps director since 2015, and was elected to the Drum Corps International Board of Directors in 2023, as well as continuing to serve as a board member of the Mandarins.

Established in 1963, the Mandarins (then called the Ye Wah) formed a drum and bugle corps for youth in the Sacramento Chinese community. With the numerous festivities and parades occurring in Sacramento and neighboring locales,  the Chinese Community, with all of its traditions and ideals, would be represented with a youth drum and bugle corps to exemplify community interest, civic consciousness, and cultural pride. Since then, the corps has blossomed from a local performance group to a top national competing group, bringing in members and fans from all around the world, competing on marching arts’ biggest stage. 

The Mandarins of Sacramento, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation which impacts the lives of more than 1,400 youth each year. This is accomplished through local community-based music education programs and through the Mandarins Drum and Bugle Corps, a DCI World Class Finalist. Established in 1963, the Mandarins is proud to have impacted thousands of lives, teaching the values of respect, leadership, discipline, and good citizenship with a true sense of purpose. Learn more at

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  • Refer to the organization as “Mandarins of Sacramento, Inc.”.
  • Refer to the drum corps as “Mandarins Drum & Bugle Corps”. This can also be shortened to “Mandarins”.
  • Refer to the indoor wind ensemble as “Immortal Winds”. This can also be shortened to “IW”.
  • Refer to the elementary education music program as “Mandarins Music Academy”. This can also be shortened to “MMA”.
  • Refer to the for-profit music ensemble as “Mandarins Entertainment”.
  • Refer to the juvenile detention music education program as “Mandarins Pathways”.
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    • If an entity name is used multiple times in written form, the full entity name is used for the first instance and the shortened
      version of the entity name is used from that point forward.
    • When the entity name begins a sentence, the optional use of “The” (capitalized) to begin the sentence is acceptable for the
      purpose of grammar and readability. And, when the entity is mid-sentence, the optional use of “the” (not capitalized) is
      acceptable for the purpose of grammar and readability.
    • An entity name that ends with an audible “s” is followed by “are” and not “is”. Currently, this would apply only to “Mandarins
      are”, “Immortal Winds are”, and “Mandarins Pathways are”. This would not apply to “Mandarins Drum and Bugle Corps are”
      since “Corps” does not end with an audible “s”.
    • An entity name that ends with a written “s” should not include an apostrophe when written in the possessive, e.g., Mandarins
      Drum & Bugle Corps’, Mandarins’, Immortal Winds’, and Mandarins Pathways’.


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