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March 3, 2004

Daily Pennsylvanian

Most people dream of touring the U.S. and performing at venues with hundreds of fans screaming their name. Yet for Penn Masala, this is their reality. Blazing the trail for the Indian-American community, Penn Masala connects mainstream American music with Indian undertones and influences. Comprised of 10 male Penn students, the group has taken both Penn's campus and the international scene by storm. Compared to other a cappella groups, Penn Masala is relatively young -- it was founded in 1996 -- and distinguishes itself as the only all-Hindi group on campus.

Yet the group has managed to gain as much, if not more, recognition than many other University a cappella groups that are decades older. In October, the group won the Creating a Voice Award from the national organization Project-IMPACT. The group, which is dedicated to promoting South Asian culture, recognized Penn Masala for its contributions to the young South Asian-American community. Also, the group had the opportunity to perform at the Bollywood Awards ceremony in India -- similar to performing at the Academy Awards -- which was televised all over Asia. In addition, Penn Masala performed for the New York Bollywood Music Awards.

Penn Masala member and Wharton junior Adarsh Shah, whose family lives in Africa, says, "My parents watched the show in Kenya. That was the first time my parents got to see me perform." With the popularity of a cappella groups on campus, Penn Masala undoubtedly stands out. "Singing in a different language automatically sets us apart," says Guha, who adds that simulating Indian percussion is especially difficult". More

Posted by acapnews at March 3, 2004 8:10 AM


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