Freelancers, Sacramento

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The Freelancers (also known as the Manheart Capitolaires, Capital Freelancers) is an inactive junior drum and bugle corps based in Sacramento, California


The corps was founded in 1963 as the Manheart Capitalaires, an all-girl junior drum and bugle corps under the sponsorship of American Legion Post 391. In 1970, the unit opened participation to males and Manheart was dropped from the name. Another name change to Capital Freelancers of Sacramento, CA occurred in 1973 as the corps separated from the Legion Post.

The corps toured nationally for the first time in 1975. Early one July morning, the Freelancer caravan of three buses and two vans left Sacramento with one hundred young people and two thousand dollars in cash. Later out of money and still on the East Coast, the corps had to rely on a personal loan from one of the parent boosters to get back home. Despite all this, the Freelancers managed to gain DCI membership by placing 18th at the National Championships.

In 1976, the corps again set out on national tour with determination. However, money was still in short supply. In fact, part of the members' motivation to do well in the show was the fact that if they did not place well, they would not collect any prize money, and the corps would not eat or go on to the next show. On the day of Prelim's, the corps woke up early to an empty kitchen and wallet. That turned out to be a sign of the strength and heart of the Capital Freelancers as that night the corps managed an incredible finish of 11th place. Through pride the Freelancers secured, for the first time, a place in DCI's elite Top 12.

Soon after, the BINGO Hall was established as a more stable and consistent source of funding for the corps that was growing in stature and financial need. In 1977 the corps landed a spot in Finals and earned a tie for 8th place.

Another milestone occurred in 1980 as the name of the corps was changed to Sacramento Freelancers. The Freelancers became a mainstay in DCI competition in the early 80's, finishing as high as 8th.

In 1986, the first time in over fifty years, the organization would not field a corps. Due to financial struggles, the members of the Board of Directors decided to make the corps inactive in the hopes of establishing a stronger future. It is due to their courageous decision, despite concerns the corps might never revive, that the Freelancers are around today.

"Sac Is Back!" was the battle cry in 1987 as the Freelancers achieved what no other corps had by returning to competitive form after folding. In fact, the corps' 19th place finish was the highest placing of any corps right after an inactive season. In one of the more competetive battles in DCI history, the Freelancers placed 15th in 1988, narrowly being edged out by the Sky Ryders, Crossmen and Dutch Boy for the last finals spot. 1989 was the year the Freelancers would return to DCI finalist status, placing 10th at the DCI World Championships in Kansas City. This unprecedented achievement made the Freelancers the first corps in DCI to regain Finalist standing after being inactive. The 1989 unit also holds the record for the highest DCI World Championships Preliminary Score with an 89.9.

The corps would go on to capture a finals spot twice in the 90's, before running into hard times. After several staff changes and more financial problems, the orginization stopped fielding a drum and bugle corps in the 1995 season. Since then, the orginization remains active, fielding a successful winter drumline program, and continuing its BINGO operation in the Sacramento area.


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