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Parkland students perform 'Rent' song at the Tony Awards

"I've been dreaming that since I was 8 years old," student Kali Clougherty told "Today" on Monday.
by Kalhan Rosenblatt /  / Updated 
Image: 72nd Annual Tony Awards
The Drama class from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School performs at the 72nd Annual Tony Awards in New York.Lucas Jackson / Reuters

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Members of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School performed during Sunday night's Tony Awards, moving many of Broadway's veterans to tears.

During the performance, the students from Parkland, Florida, who earlier this year survived a school shooting that left 17 dead and 17 others injured, sang "Seasons of Love" from the show "Rent."

The performance at New York City's Radio City Music Hall earned the students a standing ovation.

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On Monday morning, student Kali Clougherty, who had a solo during the performance, told "Today" the performance was a moment she'll never forget.

"I've been dreaming that since I was 8 years old," Clougherty said. "I just graduated high school and, I mean, I'm not even on Broadway yet, and I got to do what a lot of people on Broadway haven't gotten to do yet."

After the performance, members of Clougherty's ensemble tweeted about what the moment meant to them.

"This was a dream come true. Theatre has been and always be my first love. Thank you @TheTonyAwards and the Broadway community for being so incredible to us," tweeted Sofie Whitney, one of the students who performed on Sunday.

"Glee" and "Finding Neverland" actor Matthew Morrison introduced the performance, noting that he had performed with the Stoneman Douglas students during a benefit earlier in the year.

“For us, it was a life-changing experience to see these inspiring young people channeling their intense feelings of hurt and rage and sorrow into art,” he said.

Morrisoin explained that student Tanzil Philip had asked the Tonys if he and his classmates could appear during the show.

"Our Broadway family wants to give and say thanks to you, by sharing the stage with you and your classmates,” he said.

Earlier in the night, Meoldy Herzfeld, the director of Stoneman Douglas' drama department, won a special Tony award for excellence in theater education. The award comes with a $10,000 cash prize.

“We all have a common energy. We all want the same thing. To be heard. To tell our truth. To make a difference. And to be respected. We teach this every day in every arts class,” Herzfeld said in her acceptance speech.

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