Music by more than 1,000 accomplished young musicians will fill Monterey High School’s Macres Memorial Stadium on Saturday, July 8 when the Sacramento Mandarins host its sixth annual Drum Corps International (DCI) Capital Classic.
The family friendly evening event that attracts over 1,200 attendees each year showcases complex music, precision marching and choreography, colorful pageantry, and several drum corps from across the state.
DCI received a grant from the city to help them continue the event attracts a large number of out of town visitors and generally costs over $10,000 a year to run.
“We saw that 95 percent of the people who attended came from out of town. So this event really allows us to showcase the city as well as drum corps and bring people from all over California into Elk Grove. The city acknowledged that and agreed to be a part of it,” said Mandarins’ executive director Jim Tabuchi.
Each year, the Mandarins performance bares a theme and this year the theme is, “Inside the Ink.”
“The theme will cause the viewers to watch with their imagination,” Tabuchi said. “It’s based on those ink block psychology tests; there’s an ink block that’s in front of you and you’re asked ‘What do you see?’ Each person’s interpretation is a little bit different. Our show is centered on being able to portray ink. You’ll see each member of the drum corps being in sort of an ink drop. So picture 150 youth members on the field and each one is an ink drop that becomes fluid and can be maneuvered over that 100-yard field. Viewers will start to see patterns evolve and how they come together in motion.”
The Mandarins organization includes a six-person creative design team that comes up with its theme each year.
The music performed comes together when program coordinator Ike Jackson creates a melody and sings it for the music composer who arranges and orchestrates it to be performed on the field.
“The design team has different disciplines too. So one may be a brass person, one may be a percussion person, the other a dancer, etc. They all bring their ideas and perspectives together to create this incredible show,” Tabuchi said.
In addition to the continued success of the annual concert, the Sacramento Mandarins have expanded their music program to include local elementary schools, a program called Mandarins Education that will give youth a chance to explore their music creativity.
“Since the state of California no longer supports music in elementary schools, what I’ve told everyone – including the State PTA and California Arts Council – is that we’re done talking and lobbying for this. We just want to make it happen,” Tabuchi said. “So we started working with the Elk Grove and Sacramento unified school districts to put elementary school band programs in place.”
Six of the elementary school music programs will begin this fall; four of them in Elk Grove and two in Sacramento.
Retired district music teacher Jim Mazzaferro is now on staff as the Mandarins’ music education advisor.
“We think that we can continue to organically expand this program as long as schools want to have it,” the executive director said. “Over the long run, we may be able to give this gift of music to over 1,000 kids each year.”
The Drum and Bugle Corps shapes many of its longtime members to become musical directors in elementary schools and elsewhere.
“Half of our directors this fall were Mandarins alumni,” Tabuchi said.
The sixth Annual DCI Capital Classic will begin at 6 p.m. at 8661 Power Inn Road. The box office opens at 3:30 p.m. and doors open at 4 p.m.
General admission is $20 and $10 for students 18 years and under with valid identification.
There is a suggested parking donation of $5.
Visit www.mandarins.org for additional information about the Sacramento Mandarins and to purchase tickets.