The Philadelphia Boys Choir & Chorale sang a whole slate of holiday songs this morning on ABC's Good Morning America, ending the show with some of "The Hallelujah Chorus."
Then it was back to Philadelphia to take part in a 2 p.m. performance of The Nutcracker at the Academy of Music.
It's the fourth straight year on GMA for the group, with 70 boys in red blazers in the choir, 30 older males singing the deeper parts in the chorale, and music director Jeffrey R. Smith on the piano.
They left by bus at 4 a.m. for New York and the show's studios at Times Square.
First was "Deck the Halls" about 8 a.m., with choir's 70 boys sporting red Santa hats in an upstairs studio..
"The boys are having a good time. They love doing TV stuff. It's exciting," Smith said by phone right after the song.
Then, suddenly, the show wanted the "tidings of comfort and joy" from "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" - a previously scheduled number bumped by a video of gorillas.
The schedule of mostly abbreviated versions was to continue with "O Come All Ye Faithful," "Christmas Together" from A Christmas Carol, "The Christmas Song," and a full rendition of "O Holy Night."
"They are surprisingly awake," said Smith shortly after the show began airing. "They met around 3:30 in the morning, and they all slept beautifully on the bus."
The kids weren't nervous, Smith said during the show. "They're ready for it. It's a little more nerve-wracking on me, I think."
The show's friendly production staff helped keep everyone loose, he said.
After the show, the plan was to record "O Come All Ye Faithful" for listeners to hear online at the show's website, http://gma.yahoo.com. "O Holy Night" might be online as well, Hinke said.
An added bonus is that "GMA" can be used as a code to avoid shipping charges on orders of the choirs' holiday CDs, available at the group's website, www.phillyboyschoir.org. The latest is titled, Celebrate Sounds of the Season.