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Baltimore middle school choir makes audience rise up with 'Good Morning America' performance

Baltimore music teacher Kenyatta Hardison directs the Cardinal Shehan School Choir during a rehearsal of Andra Day's "Rise Up" in late September.

Baltimore middle schoolers got a standing ovation after performing their viral rendition of Andra Day's "Rise Up" on "Good Morning America."

Members of the Cardinal Shehan School choir headed to New York early Wednesday morning, and at about 8:30 a.m., about 30 students decked out in bright red uniforms flooded the studio in Times Square.

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Kenyatta Hardison, the choir director, said on the show that she had no idea her students' performance would take off the way it did. Since Hardison uploaded the video from a Sept. 27 choir rehearsal, more than 20 million people have watched the students' emotive portrayal of Day's song.

One of those people was Day herself.

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The singer sent a special message to the Cardinal Shehan School choir, which was played during the GMA segment: "Your video was so powerful and moved me so deeply and is moving the entire nation right now," she said. "We appreciate you so much."

She encouraged the students to pursue their musical passions.

Hardison said she's received heartwarming messages from all across the world, with people saying that the students inspire them.

One of the middle school singers, John Paige, told the GMA hosts that's part of the choir's mission.

"I hope we have given people hope," John said.

You can watch the "Good Morning America" segment here.

Baltimore choir director Kenyatta Hardison's rehearsal video of Cardinal Shehan School's performance of "Rise Up" has millions of views on social media.

Mikey Monaghan, a spokeswoman for the Archdiocese of Baltimore, said 36 children and six chaperones, including Kenyatta Hardison, the choir director who recorded and uploaded the viral video, would be New York-bound at 2 a.m. for rehearsals scheduled for 6 a.m. At 8:30 a.m., she said, it's show time.

Monaghan said after all of the online fanfare — the video has garnered millions of views since it was first posted Sept. 27 — "ABC World News Tonight," featured the choir Sunday night and "Good Morning America" contacted the school in hopes of having the kids on the show.

"This is a once-in-a-lifetime for some of these kids," said Monaghan, who has helped organize a trip to the Central Park Zoo after the performance. "They just feel like this is their calling, and they're sharing their voices with the world."

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