"We had a student chair suggest it be based on 'American Idol' to showcase student talent like they do at comprehensive high schools," said Assistant Principal Carmen Labrecque, who served as one of the judges. "I'm the Paula. It's all about school pride. They are excited to show off."
The excitement over the show spilled into the classroom, Labrecque said.
"They've been a little giddy," she said. "They even come early and stay late. That's unheard of."
Andrew Shehata, a 17-year-old senior who rocked the national anthem, is a self-taught member of a band and is used to playing before crowds.
"It kind of makes me want to come to school more because we don't often have this kind of activity at our school," he said. "I'm in a band so I'm used to this but I did have a little nervousness because of playing in front of the people from school."
School counselor Sally Yoo, followed Andrew, performing German composer Fredrich Kuhlau's "Sonatine" concerto.
"It helps build their confidence and school pride," Yoo said. "But we made it a priority that just because they were in the show they can't miss any of their academics."
Associated Student Body representative Pamela Valladolid, 18, came up with the idea and was the chair of the show committee. She did not perform but helped run a tight show.
She got the idea after hearing about a talent show that was planned two years ago but didn't materialize.
"I think it was a good way to show that Daily High is just like any other school," she said. "And here we are. It was wonderful."
Steven Maldonado, a 17-year-old senior who performed a "drummer duel" with Adam Buarenos, also 17, said the show brought the school together and improved his self-respect.
"I had teachers who were in the show so we could talk to them about it," he said.
"I had a lot of people tell me they didn't know what I could do."