Pier engineers winning season at arts center

By: Ashley Whittingham Telegraph Staff Writer
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Dave Pier has mastered both sides of the brain by leading successful careers in the arts and science. He is the executive director of Folsom Lake College’s brand new regional visual and performing arts center Three Stages. He joined the administration in January 2010 and is a familiar face in Folsom. Tell us a little bit about yourself? I’m the executive director of Three Stages. I’m a musician and have been involved in the performing arts since I was young. I play the saxophone and ran a jazz orchestra for 25 years. I also did a lot of conducting and played in a jazz band. What is something most people don’t know about you? Part of my background is in engineering. I studied physics and electrical engineering and worked on solar energy. At the same time I was involved in music and the performing arts as well. What is something interesting that has happened to you? My big band used to play all over the place and one time we played at a new country club in Montecito. The concert ended and they were cleaning up and somehow all of my stuff got locked in a room. I couldn’t change out of my tuxedo or get the keys to my car to drive home so I ended up sleeping in the country club that night by myself. A lot of interesting stuff has happened in my life. What do you like about your job? The marriage of the arts and the behind the scenes technical work that makes the magic happen. I like the combination of art and business. The people at the college are also great. I really like the community groups and we have a really large volunteer group so I like the community involvement. I like to see how art touches people in interesting ways. I also like being a part of something positive. What are your hobbies? I used to build and fly radio-controlled model airplanes. I would like to get back into that but I’ve been really busy lately. What is your favorite play? I like “Sweeny Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street.” The music is rich and complex and I enjoy it. It’s very dark but also humorous. What is your favorite type of music? I would say jazz but I like all different kinds. I like the energy of jazz and the freedom that the artists have to express themselves. I like the freshness of it. I like theatre music, it’s like contemporary opera. I also like pop music and can appreciate classical. If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go? I love Switzerland. It’s a very beautiful country. Just the beauty of the Swiss Alps and there’s not a lot of people there so it’s a different environment. Learn more about Three Stages at