Audition Information

Welcome to the Sacramento Mandarins Drum & Bugle Corps. We are glad you have chosen to take a look at our program. We are looking forward to celebrating our 58th Anniversary in 2021! Our audition and experience camp dates will be announced soon.

Mandarins Facebook Interest Groups are also available as sources of information:

Please contact the appropriate caption for audition information if you’re unable to find what you need in the website.


We’re extremely excited to know that you’re interested in spending your summer as a member of our Mandarins Family!  Whether it’s your first time auditioning or you’re hoping to return to the organization for another season, we are eager to welcome you.  Your journey to excellence starts here, at one of our  audition events for the 2021 season:

Audition/Camp Dates TBA

Audition/Camp Dates TBA

Audition/Camp Dates TBA

Audition/Camp Dates TBA

Audition/Camp Dates TBA

Audition/Camp Dates TBA

We offer both weekend and one-day auditions, each designed to bring you the full Mandarins Experience. 

At our weekend auditions, meals and housing are provided. Don’t forget to bring an air mattress, toiletries, and a towel! One-day auditions typically run from 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM, and lunch is provided.


Audition registration fees cover the cost of food, housing, and instruction, and can be paid online or at the door on the day of your audition event. 

The cost to attend one of our weekend audition events is $150 when paying in advance, and $175 at the door. The cost to attend our one-day audition sessions is $100 when paying in advance, and $125 at the door.

The 2020 Sacramento Mandarins Tour fee is $4,000.00. 

This fee covers your uniform, equipment, transportation, food, housing, and instruction for the upcoming season. It also covers the cost of all winter rehearsal camps. 

If a non-corps member would like to make a Tour Fee payment towards a current Mandarins corps member, please click on the button below.

Members themselves should make their payments through Mandarins Fee Payment Form.


If you receive a callback for the 2020 brass or percussion section, you will attend a second-round January audition in Sacramento, CA. 

Then, if you are offered membership, you will be required to attend 3 spring rehearsal camps, which are held one weekend each month. 

You will be invited to attend future camps.  Make sure you check your email and your CorpsData Account for camp registration information.

Housing, shuttles to/from the airport, and food are all provided, and attendance at all rehearsal camps is mandatory unless you have a previously approved school conflict. 

If you receive a callback/membership for the color guard, you are only required to attend April Camp.

What Happens if I am Offered Membership in the Mandarins?

If you have been offered a position in the Corps you must take care of your paperwork and membership payments confirming your acceptance of your contract offer immediately.  You must pay $500.00 of your 2020 Tour Fees within 10 days of receiving your contract offer.

If you have any questions about the application process or fees, contact our director, JW Koester.

Sacramento Shuttle Available

The Mandarins Shuttle Request form is available here, if you need shuttle service between the Sacramento airport (SMF) and camp. 

The cost is $20. Please contact our Transportation Coordinator, Alice Swift (aka Geema) at 619-400-9992 if your have questions about the shuttle. 

As soon as you book your flight, fill out the form if applicable.

What Do I Need to Bring to the NorCal or SoCal Overnight Camps?

  • A positive attitude and willingness to learn.
  • All musicians: three ring binder with plastic sleeves and a pencil.
  • Change of clothes for the weekend. Plan to dress in layers. It will be warm in the gym. Since we are in California, where the climate is good, we will also likely be outside, so you will need to have warm clothes for that as well.
  • Comfortable marching shoes.
  • (Note: all meals will be provided for the entire weekend).
  • Sleeping bag, air mattress, pillow, toothbrush, toothpaste and other toiletries, towel, shower shoes or slippers.
  • Your own instrument / guard equipment (in particular brass) if possible, to ensure you have something to use throughout the audition weekends.

What Do I Need to Bring to the 1-day Camps?

  • A positive attitude and willingness to learn.
  • Three ring binder with plastic sleeves and a pencil.
  • Plan to dress in layers. If the weather is good we may spend part of the day outside.
  • Comfortable marching shoes.
  • Your own brass instrument as the corps will not provide instruments.  Percussion equipment will be provided.

What Are You Looking For When I Audition?

Auditions will give the staff an idea of your music, marching, movement, and equipment handling skills.

Think of your first rehearsal as a chair placement for an honor band rather than an “audition.”

We will also be looking at several other factors, including:

  • Positive attitude.
  • Work ethic.
  • Commitment to effort.
  • Ability to focus and follow directions.
  • Ability to learn exercises.
  • Ability to process information and instruction and apply it to exercises.
  • Ability to handle constructive criticism in a positive manner.
  • Interaction with other audionees.
  • Ability to attend all camps and move into Spring Training in the Sacramento area on May 22, 2020 (some flexibility is allowed due to school commitments but this IS our expectation).

In addition to an audition in a rehearsal setting, each prospective member will also be interviewed by the appropriate caption head.

Our marching member Code of Conduct can be found here. This will give you an idea of our organization’s expectation for its members.

Oh yes, in case you think we forgot to mention this: enjoy yourself! Stay positive and don’t lose sight of your goals and objectives. You are here because you enjoy doing this, and the staff does recognize your effort in coming to be here with us.

Commitment, dedication, and teamwork are the cornerstones of our organization. The Mandarins are rich with 55 years of tradition and pride. We encourage your participation, and look forward to seeing you soon.

“This is long overdue, but I just wanted to share my gratitude towards Mandarins and everyone that’s involved in it. I feel blessed to have been part of something so special. I never thought that I’d be able to feel the way I did after quarterfinals/semifinals because I couldn’t stop smiling after those shows. When you feel like giving up, just remember to hold your head up high and be proud of what you do. We’ve all literally poured our blood, sweat, and tears into this show. I’ve met the most amazing, talented, and kind hearted young adults. Although we’ve gone our separate ways, I’m constantly reminded that Mandarins will always be my home. I’m glad that I chose to age out with Mandarins, and I feel honored to be an alumni. I hope to see everyone again in the future. Until then, just remember………..GET IT! – Van Anh Tran”

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