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Local school choir makes its debut on Oprah

April 7, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
A group of students at John Burroughs High School in Burbank sang a very happy tune Wednesday afternoon. They were part of the school's Powerhouse Choir and made their TV debut where they received a well-deserved surprise. The Powerhouse Choir at John Burroughs High School is one of the best show choirs in the country. They were an inspiration for a popular TV show and that story recently caught the eye of Oprah Winfrey.

On Wednesday afternoon, the choir was featured on her show. They had a viewing party at the high school to watch the appearance. The choir also got to relive a pretty amazing surprise that they received at the end of the show.

"All the way from Burbank, California, please welcome the John Burroughs High School show choir, Powerhouse," announced Oprah.

Packed into the John Burroughs High School auditorium, the Powerhouse Choir and hundreds of their friends and family watched their national television debut on the Oprah Show Wednesday afternoon.

"Just being backstage, so many famous people have been back here and been in this back stage and on this stage, it's so cool," said Lisa Morrison, a Powerhouse Choir member.

Powerhouse is a nationally recognized choir. They were chosen to perform on the Oprah show to support the cast of the television show "Glee". Members of the cast surprised them a few weeks ago.

"She wanted to know if she could fly all of you out to perform as well," said a Glee member who visited the school.

"I was shocked in a sense because Burroughs is great and we're considered one of the top groups but I wouldn't expect to be picked," said Powerhouse Choir member, Jaime Howard.

It wasn't the only surprise. After their performance, Oprah gave the class a brand new piano and a check for $100,000.

"The economy is down, they're cutting the arts programs every day? We have money to support us now. That's great," said Howard.

Brenden Jennings who has been teaching the award-winning choir for the past years says his students were a little nervous about being on Oprah, but they didn't show it. As for the money, it was just the icing on their cake.

"They are great performers but they're also kids so I know this will go down as one of the most memorable experiences of their high school careers," said Jennings.

Choir members said they were very happy to receive a piano because they desperately needed one and as for the money, they will definitely be putting it to good use for several years to come.