2023 wasn’t just a celebration of history for Mandarins, as the corps honored its 60th anniversary. 2023 was history.
For the Sacramento, California corps, a steady competitive build over the past several years reached demonstrably new heights on the 2023 DCI Tour.
Take a look back at a history-altering stretch of competitive seasons, which led Mandarins to the corps’ first-ever “top-six” status.
2017 | “Inside the Ink”
13th place, 85.550
The 2017 season set the tone for a new era of Mandarins as the corps ended up in 13th place after finishing in 17th, 20th, and 21st in the three previous seasons.
Mandarins created headlines in the 2017 season, including taking 12th place at the ever-important DCI Southwestern Championship. Mandarins jockeyed back and forth with Madison Scouts for the coveted 12th-place position, but ultimately came up just 0.925 points shy of a first-ever finalist bid.
Listen to 2017 Mandarins' "Inside the Ink"
2018 | “Life Rite After”
10th Place, 88.150
In their 55th year, Mandarins broke into elite territory, earning the corps’ first-ever trip to the DCI World Championship Finals.
Mandarins’ Top 12 bid was apparent from the start of the season, and was solidified when the corps took 11th place at 2018's World Class “all-skate” San Antonio event, with a cushion of 2.45 points ahead of the Top 12 cutoff line.
The Sacramento corps didn’t stop with 11th, though, pushing ahead of Phantom Regiment for 10th place at the DCI World Championship Semifinals and locking in that final position one night later.
Watch 2018 Mandarins' "Life Rite After"
2019 | “subTerra”
10th Place, 89.300
After making history in 2018, Mandarins didn’t look back in 2019, improving their final score by more than a point and reaffirming their 10th-place ranking.
While 2019’s campaign wasn’t riddled with headlines to the degree of 2018’s, it solidified Mandarins’ place amongst the activity’s upper competitive strata. Mandarins never ranked below 10th at any event featuring all — or most — of the DCI Tour’s World Class competitors.
Watch 2019 Mandarins' "subTerra"
2022 | “The Otherside”
10th Place, 90.013
Mandarins went with a more “electrified” vibe in 2022, once again utilizing monstrous prop pieces and playing high-intensity music. The corps improved upon its final score for the fifth-consecutive competitive season, and captured another Top 10 position.
Throughout the summer of 2022, Mandarins showed glimpses of a rise up the leaderboard, and made their own pieces of history, outscoring The Cavaliers head-to-head for the first time in corps history and finishing as high as eighth place at that summer’s regional San Antonio event.
Ultimately, Phantom Regiment and The Cavaliers both made late surges ahead of the Mandarins, but the Sacramento corps finished the season less than three quarters of a point behind both.
Listen to 2022 Mandarins' "The Otherside"
2023 | “Sinnerman”
6th Place, 93.775
2023 Mandarins | "Sinnerman" | Finals
There's no peace, saith my God, 𝙩𝙤 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙬𝙞𝙘𝙠𝙚𝙙 🔥 Rebroadcasts and select archives available on FloMarching » dci.fan/WatchLive23 #DCI2023 | Sacramento MandarinsPosted by Drum Corps International on Saturday, August 12, 2023
While 2019 and 2022 were both scoring improvements for Mandarins, the corps finally broke into a new competitive tier with 2023’s intense production.
Bringing together recognizable music like Nina Simone’s “Sinnerman,” Hozier’s “Take Me to Church,” Nat King Cole’s “Smile,” and more, the corps told a compelling story, and made its own compelling story, rising into the top six of DCI's World Class.
Mandarins’ sixth-place finish was closely-contested throughout the season. The Sacramento corps spent the bulk of 2022 in razor-thin competition with The Cadets — who landed in fifth place, 0.538 points above Mandarins — and Phantom Regiment — who landed in seventh, 0787 behind.