NEW ORLEANS, LA - FEBRUARY 03: A group of 26 students from the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut perform America the Beautiful with singer Jennifer Hudson during the Pepsi Super Bowl XLVII Pregame Show at Mercedes-Benz Superdome on February 3, 2013 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage)
NEW ORLEANS (AP) - The chorus from Sandy Hook Elementary School was joined by Jennifer Hudson at the Super Bowl in a stirring rendition of "America the Beautiful" on Sunday that had some players on the sideline on the verge of tears.
Sandy Hook is the school in Newton, Conn., where 20 first-graders and six adults were killed in a Dec. 14 shooting rampage.
Wearing white shirts that seemed to embody the innocence of youth, with green ribbons pinned on the right side of their shirts, the 26 children stood on the NFL's red, white and blue shield-shape logo and many smiled excitedly as they sang the first verse before a silent yet packed Superdome crowd. Then Hudson, wearing a black blouse and long, white skirt, fronted them for a second verse that showcased her sterling voice.
Baltimore Ravens coach John Harbaugh watched alongside his daughter, Alison.
Fans offered a rousing ovation at the finish, and the chorus then trotted to the 20-yard line and turned, with their hands on their hearts, to watch Alicia Keys sing the national anthem.
(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)