Sacramento Mandarins

The Sacramento Mandarins will perform their production, ‘subTerra’ at this year’s Drum Corps International Capital Classic on July 5. Here are scenes from the surreal performance.

The Sacramento Mandarins Drum & Bugle Corps will host their 8th annual Drum Corps International (DCI) Capital Classic on Friday, July 5, at 7 p.m. at Monterey Trail High School.

This ensemble of dancers and musicians has grown the classic to the point that the stadium stands were packed with nearly 1,400 spectators last year.

“We want to keep up that momentum as this event is one of the Mandarins’ primary fundraisers for the year,” said Jim Tabuchi, president and CEO of the Sacramento Mandarins.

DCI Capital Classic is a competition where many of the top California drum and bugle corps perform.

“These performances are perfected by some of the most amazingly talented musicians in the state and beyond. Every year, the shows get better and the performances are more amazing,” Tabuchi said. “In our estimation,  over 95 percent of the attendees of this show are from outside of Elk Grove, so this is an opportunity for the Mandarins and the city of Elk Grove to showcase some of the most talented and hardworking youth to be found anywhere.”

All proceeds from the fundraiser go toward supporting the kids in the Sacramento Mandarins.

“Furthermore, it serves as a showcase for the pinnacle of talent in the Mandarins through our amazing show. And finally, this show is an inspiration to the kids and parents on what is possible through becoming a scholar musician,” Tabuchi said.

Hoping the audience is entertained and inspired, he invited the public to sit back and experience the shows.

“The average fan will see and hear something that is presented on the world’s largest stage – a full-sized football field,” Tabuchi said. “We also want every fan to be inspired by what they are seeing, which is drum corps consisting of some of the most talented musicians and performers around. These are some of the best of the best in the state.”  

Just this year, for the first time in its history, the Mandarins became one of the top 12 drum corps in the nation to compete at the DCI World Championship Finals in Indianapolis, finishing in 10th place.

The 24,000-strong crowd in Lucas Oil Stadium gave a deafening roar and a lengthy standing ovation, Tabuchi said.

Joining the ranks of the top drum and bugle corps in the country is the culmination of a long-term vision for the 56-year-old nonprofit, he said.

“We have always been respected as a well-run organization, but we were small. We went through extensive organizational development to build the capacity of the organization,” Tabuchi said. “This increased capacity has enabled us to build our organization on the field in performance as well. What we have done competitively is derived directly from what we do off the field.”

Back home in the Sacramento region, the Mandarins Education program has made great strides, Tabuchi said. The Mandarins offer after-school music instruction in elementary schools that don’t have a music curriculum.

The education programs provide opportunities for students, educators, and fans alike to hone their performance, leadership, and teaching skills under the instruction of the finest educators in the marching arts.

Countless studies have shown the positive mental, emotional and social benefits of music education, yet it has not become a priority in the school system, Tabuchi said.

“So the Mandarins have taken it on ourselves to give the gift of music to as many school children as possible,” he said.

They began with seven students at one school a couple of years ago. This past year, they taught 175 students in 12 schools. This fall, they expect to teach over 300 students in over 15 schools.

“The Mandarins are proud to be one of the most visible performing arts organizations in the region,” Tabuchi said.

They can be seen as the drumline for the Sacramento Kings, NASCAR at Sonoma Raceway, the Pride Parade and countless other civic and corporate events.

“We are seen as the music educators of elementary school students. Many of our former members are the band directors in our region,” Tabuchi said. “Our focus is transforming the lives of youth through musical performance, and today we serve well over 1,000 youth per year with our programs.

“We believe, if we continue on this path, that we can have a profoundly positive impact on the lives of students and families in our area.”

To learn about the Sacramento Mandarins, visit their website,

Monterey Trail High School is at 8661 Power Inn Road, Elk Grove.