NEW YORK (WHDH) – High school drama students from Parkland, Florida took the stage at Radio City Music Hall to deliver an emotional performance during Sunday’s Tony Awards.
More than a dozen students were met with a thunderous standing ovation before – and after – singing “Seasons of Love” from the hit musical “Rent.”
Their drama teacher, Melody Herzfeld, was honored before the performance, receiving the Tony Award for Excellence in Theatre Education.
Herzfeld saved more than 60 lives when she barricaded students in a closet during the Feb. 14 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
“On Valentine’s Day, when love was shattered by an act of unimaginable hatred, Melody bravely sheltered 65 of her students in a small office for two hours,” presenter Ming-Na Wen told the Tony crowd.
The actress later noted on Twitter that the student’s song was a surprise for those at the show. “We were all in tears,” she tweeted.
Herzfeld became a key supporter who helped spark the March For Our Lives movement.
Her honor – and her students’ performance – sent a powerful message through the words of the Jonathan Larson musical: “You got to remember love.”
The students originally reached out to the Tony Awards to ask for the opportunity to thank the Broadway community for their support after the tragedy. Instead, the awards show wanted to thank the students for their bravery.
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