Bucknell Spotlight: Jenny Prucnal ’13: A True Star on Bucknell’s Campus
You’ve probably noticed her singing her heart out in The Offbeats, partaking in the Gamelan Ensemble or taking part in Bankwet. If not, then you’ve definitely seen her friendly face around campus. I had a chance to interrupt Bucknell’s own Jenny Prucnal’s (Music & Creative Writing ’13) busy schedule to see what else she’s been up to with her music and interests both on campus and off.
What are you involved in on campus?
“I am a member of The Offbeats (acapella group), The Gamelan ensemble, Campus Vinyl BucknellU, recently conducted an interview for Be Fashion magazine, and joined the Environmental club. I try to be an active member of the arts on campus—I attend the poetry/slam poetry readings, and submit my poems and photography to different organizations on campus.” Are there any events coming up?
The Offbeats spring acapella concert is on April 14th in Bucknell Hall
Gamelan concert will be on April 25th
Department Piano recital will be on April 28th
How long has music been in your life/How did you first get started?
“Music has always been a part of my life. It was always a big part of my family’s life—when I was younger my dad always played the piano and accordion while my sister, mom and I sang and danced along. I have always loved going to concerts and being surrounded by music as often as possible. I took ballet when I was little and jazz and hip-hop throughout middle school and high school, and I also participated in choir, and the musicals. I begged my parents for piano lessons when I was little and I started in kindergarten. On the first day of classes my parents say that I came home and sat on the piano bench and said, “Okay I’m ready, where is my lesson?” Since then I have taken piano lessons and gone to different music camps, such as Interlochen in Michigan. I started writing songs when I was really young. I would take a sheet of paper and scribble down words and music notes when I was feeling really happy or as heartbroken as a fourth grader could get. I started writing songs more often in high school and finally began to follow through in college and start them and finish them. My best friend and I often spend time learning covers of different songs and playing around with them to make them our own. Hopefully we will start collaborating soon and writing our own together.”
Who has been your biggest musical inspiration?
“I have been inspired by many different musicians—during the past few years I have found myself really drawn to the music and lyrics of songs by Meiko, Priscilla Ahn, Little Joy, Sufjan Stevens, Fleet Foxes, The Swell Season, The Shins, and Cold War Kids. These artists still inspire me and are among my favorite musicians, but more recently Wilco, Deer Tick, The Morning Benders, Pink Floyd, My Morning Jacket, and the Talking Heads have definitely been a big inspiration to the sound I one day aspire to create.”
Do you play any other instruments?
“Yes, I sing and play piano, some guitar and ukulele”
With all that you do, how much time a week do you spend practicing? Is it difficult to balance it all or does it manage to work itself out?
“At first it was pretty difficult figuring out a way to balance it all out. I was used to having a busy schedule in high school but since I have more freedom in college it was really placed on me to be more disciplined about my practice time. Whenever I have free time in between classes, I always find myself ending up in the music building either practicing for my piano lesson or just fooling around on the piano and sometimes ending up with a new song.”
Outside of music, what other hobbies/ activities keep you busy?
“Photography, poetry, crafting/projects, hanging out with friends. Living in a downtown house, people are always around and we always try to come up with fun things to do. Recently, some friends and I just went to the rail trail, we got lost but we are going to give it a second go this weekend. and now that it’s getting warmer it’s time to start shredding on my rollerblades-took them for a spin yesterday afternoon!”
Whats your opinion of the Bucknell music scene? Is it something thats lacking, something unique, typical college scene, etc.?
“I am actually writing an opinion article for Campus Vinyl BucknellU on this now! I think that there is definitely a music scene on campus. Like on many college campuses, students have to search to find their niche. This may take time, but if you pay attention to events on campus and the people, you can find what you’re looking for. In this case, searching for the music scene, I think the campus does a good job at bringing a wide range of artists, often in the Weis Center, and sometimes Uptown. There are also a lot of student musicians wandering the campus who have real talent to share and good music to swap. I think the music scene is currently growing and could always use more talented musicians and music lovers—so I hope those who want to be, but aren’t already a part of the music scene on campus find their way there!”
How has Bucknell and being involved around campus shaped your musical interests?
“I think that taking music classes and being involved in the musical groups has definitely strengthened and expanded my musical skills and knowledge. I have gotten to take really interesting music classes such as Jazz, Rock and Race and Jazz and Social Justice. I always loved jazz when I was little because my parents would play it around the house- but it was nice to really dive into jazz music in my classes and learn about it’s history and role in society past and present.
Also, being part of the gamelan ensemble was definitely something different to what I had ever been a part of and now I have been for the last four years. The teachers and people I have met have been really supportive of my music. I have really learned from interactions I’ve had and advice I’ve been given from different people and my music has definitely grown due to this. This was definitely present in Professor Duckworth’s composition class my sophomore year – in this environment a safe space was made for students to share their music and be actively creative without the fear of being judged, but instead inspired and supported.”
What's playing on your iPod now/ new favorite song?
“I have been listening to a lot of Wilco and Deer Tick recently and my new favorite song is Outta My System by My Morning Jacket.”
Now that you know a little more about Ms. Prucnal make sure to check out all of the amazing things she does on campus as well as catching up on her articles for none other than Campus Vinyl BucknellU right here: http://campusvinyl.com/bucknellu/author/