CLEVELAND, TN (WRCB) -- A local university is being honored with the big opportunity to participate in the upcoming presidential inauguration. Choir members from Lee University will be there singing at the nation's Capitol in January.

United States Senator Lamar Alexander paid a visit to Lee University Thursday and made the announcement in a special ceremony.

The news came as a big surprise to students.

Choir members at Lee University performed as they welcomed Senator Lamar Alexander to their school. Little did they know about the big announcement that was coming.

"The Lee University choir will be singing at the inauguration of the president of the United States," Alexander declared to the auditorium, followed by cheers and applause.

"We're five days away from the presidential election. We don't yet know who the next president will be, but we do know one thing. The Lee University choir will be singing at the inauguration of the president of the United States in Washington in January," says Alexander.

"What a great honor for Lee University. And what a great thrill it's going to be for 200 of our choir members that will be making this trip," says Lee University President, Dr. Phil Conn.

"Since I'm a performer and a music major here, I'm just excited for the whole school and for me and my friends," says student Keigan Warren.

"Needless to say I was just in total shock. And I'm really excited to see what will transpire after this big announcement," says Alex Frye, member of the ‘Choral Union' group.

This isn't the first time Lee University has been in the national spotlight for its singing.

One of it's choral groups 'Voices of Lee' competed on the NBC show 'The Sing Off' in 2009.

"Just to be a part of the inauguration is huge. I can't even imagine it, to be honest. It's really a neat thing. And I love Washington DC," says Frye.

"We're thrilled with this announcement and we're eager to go to Washington and represent the state of Tennessee," says Conn.

The university is sending its Festival Choir to perform at the inaugural ceremony.

The 200-voice choir will be made up of students chosen from the school's seven choirs on campus.

Alexander issued the invitation on behalf of the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies, of which he is the Vice Chair.