100 schoolkids in New Zealand go viral after prize day performance of Led Zeppelin's Stairway To Heaven

Guitarist Mia Fraser onstage
St Andrew's College guitarist Mia Fraser onstage (Image credit: St Andrews College)

A school band performance of Led Zeppelin's classic Stairway to Heaven has gone viral after being shared online. 

The performance, which was filmed late last month at the Wolfbrook Arena in Christchurch, on New Zealand's South Island, took place during the annual prize-giving ceremony for students from St Andrew's College, a local school. 

The footage stars lead singer Grace Burnett, lead guitarist Mia Fraser, and acoustic guitarist James McIver, while the band is made up of more than 100 musicians, assembled from the ranks of the school's rock band, school orchestra, senior choir, and jazz band.  

The school's arrangement of Stairway To Heaven takes inspiration from the much-loved performance by Heart’s Ann and Nancy Wilson at the Kennedy Center Honors show in 2012, when the pair were joined onstage by drummer Jason Bonham and a bowler-hatted choir surfaced for the climax.

"We got it arranged for our orchestra and it was the right piece of music for the right year group," the school's head of music Duncan Ferguson tells 1News. "So it came together really well."

"The response has really blown us away," Ferguson adds. "It's surprising how many people overseas are commenting on it, and we're hearing from other people not connected to the school, in the different countries, that are really blown away by it."

“I sat down at breakfast on Saturday morning and suddenly discovered there were 12,000 views, and I thought, oh, that’s a bit interesting,” he told the NZ Herald. “Then, over the course of the weekend, it just got a bit nuts."

Fraser Lewry

Online Editor at Louder/Classic Rock magazine since 2014. 38 years in music industry, online for 25. Also bylines for: Metal Hammer, Prog Magazine, The Word Magazine, The Guardian, The New Statesman, Saga, Music365. Former Head of Music at Xfm Radio, A&R at Fiction Records, early blogger, ex-roadie, published author. Once appeared in a Cure video dressed as a cowboy, and thinks any situation can be improved by the introduction of cats. Favourite Serbian trumpeter: Dejan Petrović.