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World Renowned Penn Masala in the Cappella NCPA Championship

In a brave new virtual world, from 5,000+ College A Cappella groups, 64 of the nation’s most acclaimed and award-winning groups were invited to compete in the unprecedented “UpStagedAID: One World, Every Student Voice™” NCPA A Cappella Championships for $10,000+ in cash prizes for teams and their chosen Social Justice Charity. 

Penn Masala is one of five South Asian College groups who fought their way to the top of this NCPA Competition. Formed in 1996, all-male Penn Masala is renowned as the world’s first and leading South Asian A Cappella group, having performed worldwide for celebrity audiences from the White House to the Bollywood Music Awards. Penn Masala is featured in the Hollywood blockbuster Pitch Perfect 2. Their cover of “Any Way You Want It” was part of the Best Soundtrack Winner at the 2015 American Music Awards.

Broadway On Demand, the industry-leading livestream platform in performing arts, will showcase the announcement with Ringling Bros.’ Last Ringmaster, Johnathan Lee Iverson, hosting and Tony Award-winning show Hamilton’s, actor extraordinaire Jared Dixon (Aaron Burr) congratulating the finalists. NPR’s Peabody Award-winning Morning Edition recently announced the semi-finalists: 

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To reach the Closing Quartet, NCPA Mid-Atlantic Champion Penn Masala dominated fellow NCPA A Cappella All-American, Midwest Region Champion, and Big 10 A Cappella powerhouse Illinois No Comment after stunning last minute come-from-behind victories over NBC’s The Sing-Off competitors Howard Afro Blue and Ivy League rival Princeton Footnotes.  

A Penn Masala spokesperson said, “We are delighted to be in these Upstaged Championships. We perform a mashup song of Castle on the Hill and the Hindi song Ilahi. It’s a perfect representation of both Western culture and our South Asian roots. We are supporting Black Men Heal, a local NGO here that works towards mental health.”      

Teams are competing for the NCPA A Cappella Championship, NCPA A Cappella All-American status, and $10,000 for teams and their Social Justice Charities. Nearly 150K votes were cast in head-to-head matches to reach the Closing Quartet.  

UpStaged Entertainment Group’s Director of Talent, and former Elite Model Management International talent/model executive Victoria Duruh, commented: “Legendary Penn Masala’s popularity across ethnic, racial and cultural boundaries is absolutely remarkable. Their ‘Pitch Perfect’ fame is only a part.  Penn Masala led a remarkable dominance of South Asian A cappella Groups in these UpStaged NCPA Championships, one of 5 South Asian Groups, out of 5,000+ Nationwide, that made it to UpStaged’s Round of 32 Notables, and 2 to the Octet Eight. No other A Cappella genre came close to as many representatives, and Penn Masala led with a successful formula of Brains, Beauty and Harmony!”

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The Closing Quartet A Cappella Finalists were determined by a panel of esteemed judges: Emmy-winning television choral contest Sing That Thing! (PBS) judge/vocal consultant and Berklee Music Professor Annette Philip; acclaimed vocalist, songwriter, producer, and co-founder of international touring group, The Exchange, Christopher Diaz; and global talent scout, formerly with Elite Model Management, Karen Lee Grybowski (discovered Cindy Crawford, Alessandra Ambrosio, and Gisele Bundchen).

In the Closing Quartet, Penn Masala faces NCPA New England Champion and NCPA All-Americans Harvard Opportunes (competing for the NAACP Legal Defense & Education Fund) who held off NCPA Northeast Region and South Asian National Champion Rutgers RAAG after defeating decorated Ivy nemesis Doox of Yale and top-ranked Berklee Pitch Slapped

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