The choir of an elite Hong Kong boys' school has scooped first prize in an international singing competition in Germany. Diocesan Boys' School was named the best youth choir in the International Johannes Brahms Choir Competition and Festival in Wernigerode between July 18 and 22. Participants from Hong Kong won four awards - out of a possible 13 - beating 42 choirs. Diocesan Boys' School (DBS) and Diocesan Girls' School came second in the mixed choir category, while Ronnie Cheng Kay-yen, DBS's conductor and one of the school's deputy headmasters, was awarded the conductor's prize, his second international conducting award. The DBS choir, which took part in the contest for the first time, also won the outstanding interpretation prize. Mr Cheng said he took his pupils abroad to broaden their horizon. 'It is the major choir festival of the world,' he said. 'The boys have been successful in Hong Kong and the mainland. It came as a pleasant surprise now that they won in Europe, where the choir tradition is very strong and where they had to compete against girls.' Choir leader Lin Borliang, 18, said the group had not been in good form when they arrived in Germany, but after listening to high-quality singing from other teams in rehearsals, they were inspired to focus and shine. 'I hope we can be an encouragement to other schools in Hong Kong and let them know that Hong Kong people can win big awards internationally,' he said.