Members of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School’s drama team stole the show at the 72nd Annual Tony Awards Sunday night.
The performance brought the crowd— many of whom were wiping tears from their eyes— to its collective feet at the Radio City Music Hall in New York City. The surprise showing wasn’t part of that afternoon’s dress rehearsal.
Dressed in shades of black and burgundy, they sang "Seasons of Love" from "Rent." Members of the audience — as well as those on social media — gasped, cheered and wept. It was aired live on CBS.
Some of the song’s lyrics? "How do you measure a year in the life? How about love?"
"If you want a good cry, just watch these #Parkland kids at the #TonyAwards. Their friends were murdered and their lives changed forever, yet they have the capacity to sing about LOVE. Love, not hate," one person posted on Twitter.
If you want a good cry, just watch these #Parkland kids at the #TonyAwards .Their friends were murdered and their lives changed forever, yet they have the capacity to sing about LOVE. Love, not hate. That’s simply incredible. #MSDStrong https://t.co/Dfj6KjbTuv— "Character" Jay (@ueshawk) June 11, 2018
Right before the moving performance, MSD drama teacher Melody Herzfeld was honored for her life-saving efforts during the Parkland school shooting on Feb 14.
Herzfeld saved 65 lives when she barricaded students into a small classroom closet when a former student, Nikolas Cruz, went on a shooting rampage killing 17 people.
"I began to tear up a little when the #Parkland teacher was honored at the #TonyAwards — and then the students from the MSD drama department came out and sang Seasons of Love, and now I’ve paused the DVR because I can’t stop crying," wrote Jennifer Pozner on Twitter.
I began to tear up a little when the #parkland teacher was honored at the #TonyAwards -- and then the students from the MSD drama department came out and sang Seasons of Love, and now I've paused the DVR because I can't stop crying.— Jennifer L. Pozner (@jennpozner) June 11, 2018
One of the performance’s key moments? When one of the lead vocalists hit a surprise high note to the lyrics: "Shout love, give love, spread love. Measure, measure your life in love."
"If you listen carefully you can hear the sound of theater geeks everywhere cheering "YES GIRL YOU GET THAT HIGH NOTE!" Vulture posted on Twitter.
This article will be updated as more information becomes available.