The inaugural concert for the Steinway grand piano given to Saint Mary's by Sandra Feaster MBA '89 and Dr. William Feaster MBA '93 was held on Sunday, September 29, at 3 p.m. in the Chapel. A reception followed at 4 p.m. The concert included solo piano, cello and piano, small chamber music ensembles and the SMC Chamber Singers and Glee Club. Donations will benefit the travel fund of the SMC Glee Club and Chamber Singers for their trip to Latvia for the World Choir Games.
This magnificent Steinway piano had resided in the home of Sandra and Dr. William Feaster for more than 25 years when they decided to donate it to Saint Mary’s. “We knew that there was no piano like it at Saint Mary’s, and it needed to be played and loved,” said Bill Feaster. “We weren’t really using it enough, and we didn’t want it to sit idle as an ‘objet d’art.’ We wanted it to be appreciated.” They suggested the idea to the music faculty, who were thrilled about it. “When we saw how excited it made the music faculty, we knew it was the right decision,” said Sandi Feaster.
Bill and Sandi both had musical training and experience growing up, with Sandi taking piano and cello lessons. Bill’s musical background was in choral music; he had sung with the renowned San Francisco Symphony Chorus for many years, although Bill admits that it was difficult to combine his medical practice with rehearsals. He is currently the chief medical information officer at the Children’s Hospital of Orange County, after working in the Department of Anesthesia at Stanford Children’s Hospital for many years. Sandi has ties to Stanford as well, in her position as assistant dean at the Center for Immersive and Simulation-Based Learning at Stanford, a center for health care professionals.
Bill and Sandi each got their MBA degrees from Saint Mary’s more than 20 years ago and have remained involved with the school, giving generously of their time as well as financially. Sandi has been on the SMC Board of Trustees for the last eight years. She began her involvement when she was just out of graduate school, as the president of the Graduate Business Alumni Association, and went on to serve on the Advisory Board of School of Economics and Business Administration as well as the SMC Board of Regents. Sandi values her own graduate experience immensely and thinks that the SMC graduate schools have a huge opportunity to make connections with their students: “The graduate programs, with the caring faculty and intimate settings, can really help form that bond -- that feeling of belonging,” she said.
As busy as the Feasters are, they know what their priorities are and find the time to make a difference. Bill is a former chairman of the board of the Lasallian Education Fund, which funds the education of low-income students. “Education is our priority, and you must make the time for those things you think are important,” said Bill.