HEMPSTEAD - The Hempstead High School Select Chorale won first place in its category in the 2011 Young Prague Festival earlier this month.

The chorale's rendition of "The Word Was God" helped the young musicians defeat five other choirs, earning them the highest score in the ensemble category.

"I was nervous at first, but once we got on stage, it was fun," says junior Patonia Guerra.

For many of the choir members, it was their first trip abroad. Sophomore Lanzel Smith says he enjoyed experiencing the culture and history of the Czech Republic.

The Hempstead High School Select Chorale, led by Director Rachael Blackburn, was the only choir representing the U.S. in the competition.

For footage of the Hempstead High School Select Chorale's performance, go to your digital cable box and select iO Extra on Ch. 612.