The crowd was full of emotion after the rousing rendition of Seasons of Love from the Broadway musical Rent by the students from the Parkland, Fla., high school as a surprise to drama teacher Melody Herzfeld.
Herzfeld saved 65 lives by barricading students into a small classroom closet on Valentine's Day when police say a former student went on a school rampage, killing 17 people. She has also nurtured many of the young people demanding change following the shooting.
After an introduction from Glee star Matthew Morrison, the students took the stage to honor Herzfeld's win for the excellence in theater education prize during the awards, singing the familiar refrain from the popular musical number.
"Our Broadway family wants to give and say thanks to you, by sharing the stage with you and your classmates," Morrison said.
One student's moving solo during the song brought some audience members and fans on social media to tears.
Herzfeld encouraged many of her pupils to lead the nationwide movement for gun reform, including organizing the March For Our Lives demonstration and the charity single "Shine."
Contributing: Associated Press