Jillene Sturgess and Ben Duncan will lead the Sacramento Mandarins onto the competition field this season. Both Jillene and Ben feel honored to be assigned the responsibility, and consider it a privilege to represent the corps, according to the Mandarins' Web site. Sturgess will march her ninth and final season this year. As a drum major, she follows her sister Shannon, who drum majored for the Mandarins eight years ago. Sturgess has marched in both the brass and color guard sections, served as baritone section leader, and won Rookie of the Year, Most Improved, Outstanding Brass, and other awards over the years.
Jillene Sturgess (left) and Ben Duncan will be the Mandarins' 2003 drum majors.
In 1999, corps members and staff chose Sturgess as the Mandarins' Outstanding Corps Member of the Year. Duncan was a drum major in his high school band. This is his first year with a drum and bugle corps. He has wanted to drum major for the Mandarins for quite some time.
Although a first-year member, Ben feels at home with the corps and said he appreciates the many members who have made him feel like a Mandarin from day one.