A Quick Study with Brittany Crooks

This ongoing series is aimed at getting to know what motivates and inspires UBC students about their learning — inside and outside the classroom.

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Brittany Crooks

Meet Brittany Crooks, UBC Okanagan.


On a cool autumnal day at UBC’s Okanagan campus, Brittany Crooks hosts a spontaneous bagpipe practice. Professors and students, rushing to classes, stop, listen, and offer applause once Crooks finishes. It wasn’t so much the bagpipes that stopped people in their tracks, but more so the song Crooks plays —ACDC’s┬áThunderstuck.

This 18-year-old student isn’t your typical bagpipe player and she scoffs at any stereotypical images of the old boys club or kilted senior citizens playing wind instruments. Crooks, a first-year student with UBC Okanagan’s Irving K. Barber School of Arts and Sciences, has plans to major in physics and hopes to become a neurosurgeon. For now, she’s content attending classes and getting good grades while she works towards her undergrad degree in science. And playing the bagpipes with the Kelowna Pipe Band Society.

Crooks began playing the bagpipes five years ago when she was with the cadet program — her options were shooting or the band. She progressed quickly to the bagpipes and likes the fact that it’s a unique instrument with a sound all its own. Learning to play the bagpipes has a steep learning curve and Crooks says when you stop learning, it’s time to stop playing the instrument.

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