Imagine having a choice between three Ivy League universities in America along with one of Europe’s top universities. That was the reality for Angus Woods, who after graduating from BGS last year, was offered places at Harvard, Princeton, the University of Pennsylvania, and the London School of Economics.
The decision wasn’t an easy one, but Woods eventually went with Harvard, one of the world’s best and most prestigious universities. The strength of the music program was the deciding factor in the end, just as it was when he chose to make the move from Rockhampton to the BGS boarding house five years ago.
“To be a part of an all-male school at Brisbane Grammar, in which participation in music is not only encouraged, but is the largest extracurricular activity, was absolutely incredible,” he said.
The Music Captain at BGS in his senior year, Woods also juggled other leadership positions, with academic work, extracurricular activities, and the demanding university application processes. But on top of all that, he coordinated a major fundraising concert attended by 650 people.
“I am proud of the fact that the Giving Back to Gondwana Choirs event was able to give full bursaries to the entire Gondwana National Indigenous Children’s choir to attend the two-week National Choral School in Sydney this year,” he said.
A member of the National Choral School since the age of 10, Woods said he wanted the same incredible experiences to be made available to others less fortunate.
“I believe that music is a powerful language to create change, and close the gap for Indigenous Australians,” he said. “I’m so excited that Indigenous musicians, many of whom had never left their remote communities before, were able take part in this same life changing experience as me.”
Above: The iconic Harvard Yard, the oldest part of the Harvard University campus and its historic centre.
Woods said he credited the culture at BGS for helping him achieve so much. “Brisbane Grammar has a deeply entrenched culture of valuing learning and music, the things I care deeply about,” he said.
“In terms of academics, I found the quality of teaching and the culture of high scholastic achievement to be incredibly rewarding, and by constantly being surrounded by like-minded individuals, I was always motivated to aim higher and work harder.”
“To be a part of a school community in which it was the norm for students to be all-rounded, simultaneously involved in sporting, musical, and service programs, was something I was constantly in awe of.”
Woods’ hard work and dedication will see him realise a boyhood dream. “Since a young age, it has always been my dream to attend Harvard,” he said. “I’m excited to be surrounded by so many incredible young adults from all over the world.”
Above: The Harvard University Department of Music.