A 15-year-old Leeds student has gained the highest grade in a diploma from the Royal Schools of Music.
James Micklethwaite, who attends Leeds Grammar School, has been awarded a distinction in a diploma in Singing Performance.
The young tenor was entered into the exam process, which is ususally aimed at university’ students level, by his out of school singing teacher Dr Andrew Padmore.
When he was 11, James, from Woodhouse, passed Grade 8 Singing ABRSM with distinction and in 2009 was awarded Young Musician (Singer) of Harrogate Music Festival.
James, who has played a number of roles with Opera North, said: “I was really proud when I heard that I had passed and was really pleased that all my hard work had paid off.
“I had to do lots of research for each of the nine songs that I sang and they ask you lots of questions about them during the exam.
“I was relieved when I was told that I had passed because I had to wait a long time for the results and they were delayed by two weeks as well!”
The exam, which took place in July in York, saw the youngster perform a mixture of technically-difficult English, French and German songs.
Dr Padmore, who has been teaching James for the last seven years, said; “James is a highly talented young man who has all the qualities required of a singer – a superb voice, high intellect and the ability to really engage with an audience.
“I feel privileged to have him as a student: he is an absolute delight to teach.”
James is also a member of the National Youth Choir of Great Britain and the Yorkshire Philharmonic Choir.
The budding star already has his sights set on another prestigious singing qualification, but said that he had no plans, as yet, to turn professional.
“I am going to take a break from exams for a while and I will think about singing as a career, “ he said.
Outside music, James is a keen tennis player and cross country runner.