New Zealand's national secondary schools choir has been stranded in China by a typhoon.

The 60 members of the NZ Secondary Students Choir were due to leave Shanghai on Saturday after taking part in a Belt and Road World Choir Festival in Hong Kong, but their flights were among hundreds of flights cancelled by Typhoon Ampil.

Travel update: we are doing all we can but will definitely not make the Hong Kong-Auckland flight tonight. We have...

Posted by New Zealand Secondary Students' Choir on Sunday, 22 July 2018

China's Xinhua news agency said more than 190,000 people in the Shanghai Municipality have been relocated to safer places as Ampil, the 10th typhoon this year, approaches.

An overnight update on the choir's Facebook page said: "We have managed to get about 15 on alternative flights from Shanghai so far. Hoping tomorrow will bring good news."


Choir executive officer Anna Bowron was rushing to catch a bus this afternoon (NZ time) in a bid to get the remaining singers home.

Christchurch mother Rachel Macdonald, whose son Alexander Meekings, 17, is still stranded in Shanghai, said Bowron "pretty much lived at the airport yesterday" trying to arrange flights.

"Alexander was due home at 2.30pm today in Christchurch," she said. "At the moment I still have no idea when I expect him home."

She said the national choir was selected every two years and held events in every school holidays leading up to an international tour at the end of the two years.

The Belt and Road Festival website says the NZ choir was one of three "world-leading choirs" invited to be resident artists at the festival, along with choirs from Russia and Israel.

Facebook posts show hundreds of Asian singers learning Pacific action songs from the Kiwis.

Posted by New Zealand Secondary Students' Choir on Tuesday, 17 July 2018

In another post, the New Zealanders describe teaching Māori and Samoan action songs to 300 Asian students.

"The crowd was cheering for our opening Kanaval before we even got on stage! And we got a "Bravo" after CloudBurst!" the choir said.


Day 9: another very busy day. We watched the youth and adult competitions in the morning then headed to our new venue at...

Posted by New Zealand Secondary Students' Choir on Tuesday, 17 July 2018

The choir flew to Shanghai on Friday and performed two concerts there on Saturday - one with the Vienna Boys Choir Shanghai choir and one organised by the NZ consulate for local New Zealanders and friends.