As sophomores in the music conservatory celebrate getting back on stage at Purchase, Nora Baier’s setlist agrees that September ultimately does suck.
By Grace Wenner
Baier playing guitar during her set (Photo by Grace Wenner)
Nora Baier sat with her knees to her chest in the music building lobby while the rain, which had been drizzling for hours, showed no signs of stopping.
“The worst part of September is the bittersweet feeling of when it starts to get cool outside,” she said, “and you're like, ‘Oh, it’s cool weather, it’s exciting!’ And then there’s the dread that comes when you think about the fact that the sun is about to start setting at 4p.m. It's bittersweet.”
Last Saturday night was pensive and electric with an intimate crowd. Baier’s show, titled September Sucks, was on the Whitson’s stage and opened with Juno Sierra, a vocal powerhouse equipped with an electric guitar. Next on the bill was Brady Dorrington’s three-piece indie pop rock band comprised of Dorrington on guitar and vocals, Ryan Shea on drums, and Marley Simon on bass. The night closed with Baier, whose folk and grunge inspired songs were accompanied with Shea on drums again and Ayla Huguenot on backup vocals and bass.
The title for her show, September Sucks, came from trying to find an alliteration for the word September while making her flyers. After writing it, she said she thought it was perfect, and that in her opinion, September does suck.
This time of transition, of unease but eagerness, is applicable to many Purchase students, but specifically the many students on Baier’s setlist that are going into their sophomore year in the music conservatory.
Baier transferred to Purchase last year, moving to New York from Phoenix, Arizona and is now a sophomore studio composition major in the music conservatory. “Last year I was really lost,” she said, “I moved across the country, and I was just trying to find stable ground.”
Juno Sierra is also a sophomore studio composition major in the music conservatory. Sierra said that coming back to Purchase, after growing up in New York city, is like a bubble, “But it's a bubble of people who love and appreciate art.” Sierra said that this was their first time doing a ‘real show’ and coming back to such a close-knit community is exciting, now feeling more connected to people and spaces around campus.
Shea and Huguenot during Baier’s set (Photo by Grace Wenner)
“Being in New York in September is a nightmare,” said Sierra, “because for the first half of September it’s 9 thousand degrees, and then it’s 2 degrees.” Ryan Shea, who drummed for both Sierra and Baier, agrees. “September also sucks because it's like, you're coming right back to school, and everybody is sick right now,” he said. “Everyone’s trying to adjust to living like shit again.”
“Last year, it was so new to us,” said Shea. Returning for his sophomore year in the music conservatory’s studio composition major, he said he appreciates his new access to storage rooms and more opportunities to use the studio space. He said performing at the Stood for a second year is less stressful, now knowing Whitson’s tech operators and members of the music community. “Our little reputations are different,” he said, now coming back to a community who knows you.
Baier, after spending the summer writing new music, she said she was eager to be back at Purchase. “This year I’m really motivated to do the things that I've been wanting to do and do the things that I moved to New York to do,” she said. Despite the bittersweet taste of September, Baier already has shows booked for October, moving through the rainy days onto bigger and better things. “I feel like I've gotten out of my own way a little bit,” she said.