After a solemn piano solo, the classroom breaks into chaos. One girl, a black do-rag pulled tightly across her forehead, clowns around, swooning into the arms of another nearby girl. Dressed in sweatshirts, baggy jeans and many still wearing backpacks, the group looks like a typical collection of teenagers. But over the past few months, the Jefferson High School Gospel Choir has emerged from the cocoon of their Northeast classroom and achieved the sort of awe usually reserved for high school sports stars. Two weeks ago, the choir shared the stage at the Schnitzer Concert Hall with Pink Martini. This Friday, they will host a blow-out concert on their home turf at Jefferson High School. Pink Martini will join them there. Then, in a week they have a five-day tour of southern California, including two gigs at Universal Studios.

In the midst of the group, two girls stand perfectly still and sing. Their voices are steady and in unbroken unison. Then, in a snap, seemingly without any cue, the entire chorus--about 20 girls and 10 boys--organize into a rousing song, clapping and stomping. The sopranos layer like honey on top of the swelling chorus. Simultaneously majestic and humbling, it is the type of music that lifts audiences from their chairs.

"It's off the hook," says Doeisha Russell, sliding into a chair after the rest of the choir finishes singing. For the past few months, the choir has been treated like budding rock stars. In the far corner of the practice room, a photographer from The Oregonian perches atop an upright piano and snaps a bird-eyed photos of other members of the group.

But has the fame and limelight gone to their heads? "Naw, man," says Russell, her eyes at half-mast and slumped in her chair with the indifference of a veteran rock star. "I always just have fun."

Friday, April 26, Jefferson High School Performing Arts Center, 5210 N Kerby Ave, 8:00 pm, $12, available at Safeway Fastixx