Marching band enthusiasts have the rare opportunity to watch the pros practice and even catch a free show at Bret Harte High School’s Dorroh Field this weekend.

The Sacramento Mandarins, a world-renowned youth marching band, has been sleeping in the Bret Harte gym and practicing on the football field since the school year ended last Friday. They will be taking off on their nationwide tour on Sunday, according Linda Crum, a longtime school bus driver for Bret Harte and friend of Mandarins Corps Director JW Koester, who is serving as a liaison during their stay.

Locals can watch the corps of 150 teens and young adults practice anytime around their meal schedule, which is a 7 a.m. breakfast, noon lunch and 5 p.m. dinner. There will also be a free concert at 7 p.m. on Saturday, June 8, during which the Mandarins will be demonstrating their 11-minute show as a thank you to the town of Angels Camp for hosting them.

The corps is ultimately practicing for the Drum Corps International World Championships, which will take place Aug. 8 through 10 at the Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.

According to their website, the Mandarins are ranked in the top 10 of all drum and bugle corps worldwide.

“Founded in 1963, the Sacramento Mandarins provide the ideal balance of education, family values, personal time, and the blending of Asian traditions with drum corps,” their website reads. “The Mandarins are committed to the growth of the lives of young people through a commitment to youth development and performance excellence while providing enjoyment for the Sacramento community and audiences worldwide.”

Correction 6/6/19: A previous version of this article inaccurately stated that the Mandarins will be competing in the Bands of America Grand National Championships.  

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Dakota graduated from Bret Harte in 2013 and went to Davidson College, NC where she earned a bachelor's degree in Arab studies. After spending time studying in the Middle East and Europe, she is happy to be home, writing about the community she loves.

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