Mandarins of Sacramento, Inc.

Reviewed by the Sacramento Region Community Foundation

$19,729 raised by 100 donors

66% complete

$30,000 Goal

In 1963, four members of the Sacramento Chinese American community established a performing arts organization for local Chinese youth.  They believed participation in the newly formed "Ye Wah Drum and Lyre Corps" would generate community interest, create civic consciousness, and foster cultural pride.  Although initially just eleven children joined, over the ensuing decade, the group steadily grew in number and proficiency -- gaining local, national and international recognition.  The group performed in such prestigious events as State and National championships, Taiwan's presidential inauguration ceremonies (1972 and 1974), and Hawaii's King Kamehameha Parade (1974).

In 1974, the organization was incorporated as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation and the name was changed to "Mandarins of Sacramento, Inc".  Mandarins programs were also opened to all young people of any nationality, gender, ethnicity, religious affiliation, or sexual orientation who were interested in music and performing arts.  Since then, thousands of young men and women from all over the world and diverse backgrounds have been part of the Mandarins family. Mandarins continues to offer quality programs including becoming a two-time recipient of the prestigious Spirit of Disney Award, signifying outstanding achievement, excellence in educational and entertainment programs for youth.

In 2023, Mandarins celebrates 60 continuous years service. The organization continues to be nationally recognized, serving more than 1,500 young people annually through four programs tailored to meet the needs of young people in the Sacramento region.

In 2024, we look to continue to grow our mission of “Transforming Lives Through Performing Arts” by offering music education to thousands of students in the Sacramento Area!


Transforming Lives through Performing Arts! Mandarins is committed to developing life skills in young people by providing an ideal balance of education, family values, and respect through the discipline of music education and performing arts. We celebrate and embrace diversity in all of its forms: including race, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, or socio-economic status. Music and performing arts connect children through a common language which crosses generational, social, economic, cultural and racial barriers -- the experience that comes with participation in music classes during childhood helps build discipline, character, pride, and self-confidence at a crucial age and forms the springboard to even greater achievements in teen years and adulthood. Mandarins believes that each person can espouse their unique identity while uniting to create amazing musical ensembles. Students learn how teamwork, dedication, hard work, perseverance, goal setting, and discipline contributes to their successes - now and in their future endeavors.


This year, during the 60th year anniversary of the Sacramento Mandarins, the Big Day of Giving will focus on the needs of our oldest youth program -- MANDARINS DRUM AND BUGLE CORPS!

In the summer of 2024, Mandarins Drum and Bugle Corps will again tour the United States, providing 164 young adults (ages 16 - 21) with a once in a lifetime experience, playing an original musical score in a highly choreographed marching field show. This year’s total budget is $1,195,500. Although members of the program pay a “tour fee” to help defray these costs, in reality, these fees only cover 70% of the actual costs. The remaining required funds are raised by fundraising events and donations.

This year, Mandarins Drum and Bugle Corps need to raise additional funds as follows:

Scholarships: $30,000

Each year, Mandarins has talented young musicians and guard members whose socio-economic circumstances make it impossible for these promising young people to raise a portion of their tour fees. Mandarins maintains a scholarship fund to assist those who need help by offering scholarships ranging from $500 to $2,500.

Fuel: $20,000

The surge in diesel and gasoline prices over the past two years has severely affected the Drum Corps overall budget. Mandarins travels with five diesel buses, three semi-tractors with 53-foot trailers, a souvenir trailer, a flatbed trailer and electric cart, and three pickup trucks which travel nearly 11,000 miles each during summer tour. This year’s fuel budget is $75,000 which is more than double the fuel budget in 2019 although is it nearly the same number of miles. Mandarins would like to raise $20,000 in fuel funds to offset in increase in fuel prices.

Mobile Kitchen and Meals: $50,000

Affectionately known as the "Mushu Cafe". Our kitchen volunteers prepare more than 60,000 individual meals each summer. The members rehearse and perform daily. The rehearsals and performances are demanding, requiring proper nutrition and healthy, balanced meals. Members and staff eat three meals and a snack each day. As an example, breakfast consists of 40 dozen eggs, 600 strips of bacon or sausages, 25 packages of hash brown potatoes, 200 pieces of fruit, 10 loaves of bread, 10 bags of cereal, and 15 gallons of milk. This year’s food budget is $119,000 which is an increase of $50,000 from 2019. Mandarins would like to raise $50,000 in food funds to offset in increase in food prices.

Equipment: $20,000

Mandarins will supply all uniforms, musical instruments, props, costumes, flags, and provides all transportation, food and housing during the 11,000-mile summer tour. Estimated Costs: $20,000.

Health and wellness: $35,000

Since its inception in 2017, Mandarins has enlisted health care professionals from varied disciplines to provide medical guidance and hands-on assistance to corps members during the DCI Summer Tour. With an initial focus on injury prevention and treatment, participation in the project has grown from a handful of volunteer contributors to a network of practitioners throughout the United States. Mandarins strives to prevent injuries among participants in the marching arts. To do so, Mandarins needs funding for equipment and staff throughout the year. Health and Wellness staff are licensed in their respective fields (Nurse, Doctor, Psychologist, Athletic Trainer). This year Mandarins must raise $35,000 to cover the cost of a full time Athletic Trainer.

Equity Statement

The mission of Mandarins is to “transform the lives of youth through musical performance” believing that everyone brings their individual identity, culture and talent to unite and create amazing musical ensembles.

In 2016, Mandarins developed a long term business plan which “celebrates diversity and all of its forms including gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religious and social-economic diversity. Creating shared values, sustained musical appreciation, and connection through diverse music can act as a foundation for building a culture of diversity, extending to the surrounding community as an expression of inclusivity.” (Source: Mandarins Statement of Inclusivity).

Mandarins Board of Directors believes that the organization can achieve its mission by drawing on the skills, talents, and perspectives of a broad and diverse range of leaders. Further, diverse viewpoints from different life experiences and cultural backgrounds can strengthen organizational deliberations and decision-making.

Organization Data


Organization name

Mandarins of Sacramento, Inc.

other names

Sacramento Mandarins

Year Established


Tax id (EIN)


Mission Category

Youth Development

Operating Budget

$1,000,001-$5 million

Organization Need

Space: Office or Other, Funding: Program, Funding: Other

Demographics Served

Youth & Children, General population

BIPOC Leadership

Both the Executive Director & Board Chair

Local Counties Served


Equity Statement

Equity Statement


P. O. Box 22297


6360 Belleau Wood
Sacramento, CA 95822


PO BOX 22297
Sacramento, CA 95822

Service areas

Sacramento, CA, US

Yolo, CA, US

Placer, CA, US

San Joaquin, CA, US

El Dorado, CA, US



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