Penn Masala adds spice to the 560 Building

| Senior News Editor
Penn Masala sings a mix of Hindi and English at the 560 Music Center Saturday night. (Couresy of Kieran Holzhauer)

Penn Masala sings a mix of Hindi and English at the 560 Music Center Saturday night. (Couresy of Kieran Holzhauer)

The sounds of India mixed with modern American pop to fill the 560 Music Building on Saturday in a concert featuring Penn Masala, a South Asian a cappella group from the University of Pennsylvania.

The concert was orchestrated by Washington University’s chapter of GlobeMed, a network of college students that partners with global health organizations to improve the health of those around the world living in poverty. The chapter aimed to raise money to benefit the Uganda Development and Health Associates (UDHA), which is partnered with the chapter.

Along with UDHA, Wash. U.’s chapter of GlobeMed is working on a nutrition project for children under the age of 5 in Uganda. In addition to providing funding for the project through ticket sales, GlobeMed is selling the products of Crafts by Youth, which include recycled paper jewelry made by children in Uganda.

“We thought that they would make more of a profit if they sold it in an American market,” GlobeMed Large Events Campaign Co-chair Vaishnavi Hariprasad said.

The Penn Masala show was well received by the audience in the 560 Music Building.

“I thought they did a great job of blending popular American songs with Hindi songs,” sophomore Aaron Kacel said.

GlobeMed members saw the event as very successful.

“We think it went really well we thought it was a big success,” GlobeMed Co-president Elizabeth Riley said. “Everyone who came really seemed to enjoy it and we were very pleased with it.”

GlobeMed Penn Masala Committee Member Jessi Mischel agreed.

“People were really engaged by the music, which was great,” she said. “We sold a lot of tickets at the door. It was great that people came out because they were really interested in the music.”

Penn Masala was started in 1996 by a group of South Asian students at the University of Pennsylvania. It has since become world renowned, travelling to places including England and India. The group performed recently at President Obama’s Diwali celebration at the White House.

Masala is the world’s only Hindi a cappella group. Many of their songs are medleys, in which half the song is a cover of an English song, while the other half is a Hindi song.

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