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They were very clear that one of their main goals this year is to make the top 10 in 2018

I have never seen so much talent in the Mandarins.  With absolutely no disrespect to alums, the performance I heard from this past weekend's bass camp was stronger than the performance put out by some of the previous Mandarins brass lines during finals week.  

They have members coming from all over - Texas, Arizona, Washington, Utah...   People are EXCITED to be marching Mandarins.  

They will be very interesting to keep an eye on during the off-season.  I wish them nothing but the best!

Edit - I also very much agree with the previous comment about having accessible music.  It was part of the success of 2017 and I am very much hoping that they follow the same path in 2018.  

Edited by GetOFFmyDot
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22 hours ago, Jake W. said:

A couple thoughts after being incredibly eager to see what the Mandarins would follow up last year’s break out show with.

First & foremost, this is an incredibly fresh idea. This is not a theme that any nationally-known outdoor marching unit, DCI or BOA, has explored: what happens to the sacrificial virgin in Rite of Spring after she dances herself to death. I feel like I know my independent indoor groups, both guard & percussion, pretty well, and no one rings a bell as having used this in a gym before either. So....kudos to the design team for something so simple to understand & yet so unique. 

I feel like there is a lot to explore here while still leaving plenty of room for the trademark energy that the corps sufficiently branded themselves with last year. Most importantly, the initial announcement screams for conceptual depth....something we’re not used to seeing from this corps. Combining last year’s intensity with seems to be a more challenging concept/deeperdesign and all my chips are in. 

My only point of hesitation: as mentioned above, the source music was not discussed, other than the statement that Rite of Spring will not be used. I do hope we see the group utilizing more actual source music. It is my opinion that using original (or mostly original) Key Poulan scores will keep a glass ceiling over the corps. Sound of Silence was the musical high point of the show in 2017; the original brass book was mostly unmemorable in comparison. With corps in their tier last year using Husa, Bartok, Gordon Goodwin, Grieg, Wagner, Danny Elfman, Joni Mitchell....eh, Key Poulan just didn’t stack up, and basing their wind book off of more published music last year could really have pushed the group over that final hurdle.

BUT, I digress. This sounds like a huge creative leap for the Mandarins in the form of a startlingly-untouched idea that could make for another memorable show. Throughout the last decade, it seems nearly impossible for up&coming corps to capture show magic in a bottle two years in a row, and this team sounds like they’ve assembled the right ideas to pull it off. I also loved that the designer avoided the usual fluff of just here for an educational experience and flat out said they intend to field a top 10 corps this year. Ballsy, and I would be flat out thrilled to see them achieve that!

Regarding your only point of hesitation, I think you'll be pleased.

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I am really excited for this corps.  Mandarins & The Academy are where the action is, where the movement is, where the large scale improvement is, and it is exciting to watch.

I can't say enough about how compelling Inside the Ink was.  Just a stunning break-through show.

When I think about last year - Ink stands out along with Metamorph & Wicked Games.  

(But if I'm truly honest I have to say I'm sad Snyder left OC for Mandies.  Just sayin...)

Gonna be a great year!

Edited by luv4corps

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I loved the Mandarins' show last year. It was one of my favorites. It's also nice to see them finally rid of the "Darlings of Division III" image.

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This is so good

 

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No disrespect to any other instruments but this is the sound that has kept me interested for 40+ years now...

Edited by JimF-LowBari
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I was there for that recording, technically I'm visible in it. They do sound tons better than previous years. The 30 second show clip they played sounded really darn good for this time of year. They were pretty clear about 2 goals: Make finals, Build official office/facilities. 

Edited by caliswift
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