The grade was first for young flautist Alvin Peng and in the world of music.
At 17, the Albany student is the first to have gained a perfect score in the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music (ABRSM) ARSM Diploma.
Peng scored a clean 150 out of 150 in the post-Grade 8 exam and is the first student in the world to do so.
The musician, who was in China when he heard the news about his marks, said it was totally unexpected as he didn’t realise it was possible to get full marks.
Despite having only started studying the flute seriously in 2014, Peng completed the ABRSM Grade 1-8 exams in little under four years, including the ARSM Diploma, which he sat at the end of last year.
The exam consisted two 15-minute performances, with a few minutes break in between.
The Year 13 student practises for around two to three hours a day, and gets up early in the morning to practise if he has a performance coming up.
He began learning music at the Albany School of Music with the school’s director, Grace Liu, after he moved to New Zealand from China in 2014.
With his father still based in China, Peng said often when he performed, he wasn’t just thinking about the music, but was playing for those he loved.
The support from his music school, combined with opportunities for performance and overseas trips, such to Europe, had greatly helped his music, and he was very grateful to all of his teachers, he said.
Liu said Peng is a very diligent, motivated and gifted individual.
“Alvin and our other top students frequently perform chamber music together in our concerts and our younger students look up to them very much.
“It gives us a sense of validation and confidence in our teaching.”
For Peng, alongside school work, music is his top priority – one he anticipates he will pursue at university level.
“When I was younger, I really wanted to take psychology because I really love it. But after I found music, I found it was more interesting that that.”
March 28 2018