In November of 2002, two freshmen, Jay Pandit and Sudeep Roy, and two sophomores, Bobby Ghosh and Mehul Trivedi, came together to perform an a cappella act for Stanford’s South Asian cultural show. At the time, they were just a group of friends with a shared love for music. They performed a simple rendition of “Oh! Carol,” (an upbeat mix of Hindi, Punjabi, and English), and that marked the beginning of Stanford’s newest a cappella ensemble, Raagapella.
Since that first performance, Raagapella has grown tremendously and has expanded its membership to include singers with diverse musical interests and skills. We have performed all over the Bay Area, including many awards banquets, international policy seminars, and culture shows both on campus and at other universities.
In November of 2005, we took first place at Anahat, the National South Asian A Cappella Competition held at the University of California, Berkeley. The following month, we released our debut album Raags to Riches to critical acclaim, including two perfect scores from the Recorded A Cappella Review Board.
In 2006, we successfully defended our first place title at Anahat. Raagapella participated in the International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella (ICCA), taking second place in the quarter-finals and qualifying for the semi-finals. In addition, Raagapella member Mohan Rajasekar won the Best Vocal Percussionist Award. We conducted our first tour, travelling across the West Coast, and performed with composer A.R. Rahman and other stars of Indian film music at the Hollywood Bowl. In a follow-up performance in 2007, we performed with A.R. Rahman at Oracle Arena, Oakland, and NASA Colosseum, New York to audiences of more than 10,000 people.
Raagapella has sung all over the United States, in cities such as Chicago, Philadephia, NY, Boston, Wash DC, Pittsburgh, and Newhaven. In addition, in 2008, we conducted our first tour of India, performing at shows in Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, and Mysore.