As a hub for the arts at the University of Pennsylvania, we are always on the lookout for current Penn students and alumni in the limelight. We found both in a streaming performance of the 2020 Worldwide Celebration of Israel’s Independence Day. Composer, songwriter, singer and 1995 Penn graduate Gabriel Mann scored a new arrangement of “Ahavat Olam” for the celebration, which was performed by the Platt brothers—who also have roots at Penn. If you missed the live stream, treat yourself to the three-minute performance above.
Among his many achievements in the music industry, Mann wrote the iconic theme and continues to compose for the award-winning TV comedy series Modern Family, produced Sara Bareilles’ first album Careful Confessions, and was the resident songwriter on all five seasons of FOX’s Arrested Development.
Jonah Platt, a 2008 Penn graduate and member of the student a cappella group Off the Beat, went on to star in the role of “Fiyero” in the Broadway production of WICKED, and continues to advance his career in arts and entertainment as an actor, writer, musician, director and producer. Henry Platt is a rising senior at Penn, current music director of the a cappella group Counterparts, and is frequently spotted as singing lead in student theatre productions across campus. Although not a graduate of Penn, Ben Platt is a familiar name in the performing arts world, most notably for receiving the 2017 Tony Award for Best Actor in a Musical for originating the title role in Dear Evan Hansen.