The University of Pennsylvania's a cappella stars Penn Masala go up against the Barden Bellas in the musical sequel

By Michelle Tauber and Lydia Price
Updated May 13, 2015 08:20 PM
Credit: Courtesy Penn Masala

One lucky a cappella team had all of their aca-fantasies come true when they were asked to appear in Pitch Perfect 2.

Producer Max Handelman told PEOPLE how one collegiate singing group ended up in the big competition scene at the end of the movie – and yes, the group was from his alma mater.

University of Pennsylvania alumni Handelman and his wife, director Elizabeth Banks, chose the all-male UPenn troupe Penn Masala to play a Southeast Asian team up against the Barden Bellas at the a cappella world championships.

“We thought they would be great to feature,” Handelman says.

And bringing their vocals to the big screen was a major high note for the group, too. They took to Twitter to express their excitement at performing alongside fellow a cappella stars Pentatonix last year.

Off screen, Penn Masala is a world-renowned group that covers radio hits and also produces original compositions.

Since their formation back in 1996 at the Ivy League university, the group has sung for heads of state, racked up 10 million views on YouTube and released eight studio albums.

The group is currently made up of 13 students, hailing from Kolkata, India, to Brownsville, Texas. Penn Masala alumni also started a scholarship to help performing arts students study at the university.

As “the world’s first and premier Hindi a cappella group,” their official website states, Penn Masala promises to “bring together Western pop and Eastern melodies to form harmonies you won’t hear anywhere else.”

The group’s catalog includes their newly released mash-up of Enrique Iglesias’ “Tonight (I’m Loving You)” and “Dilliwaali Girlfriend” from the Bollywood film Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani. They’ve also paired pop songs “Mad World,” “Fix You” and “With or Without You” with Hindi hits.

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Fans can also hear the guys belt it out on the Pitch Perfect 2 soundtrack, out now, covering the ’80s hit “Any Way You Want It.”

The anxiously awaited sequels hits theaters Friday.