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September 4, 2014
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Music in the Mountains receives $232k grant from estate of J. David Ramsey

Nevada City based Music in the Mountains has received a $232,477 grant as part of $1.16 million granted by the Sacramento Region Community Foundation to support local classical music organizations due to a significant bequest from a Charitable Remainder Trust established by J. David Ramsey.

Ramsey passed away in January 2014 after a lifetime of mentorship and service in his community. In accordance with the terms of his charitable trust, which was established in 2003, the bequest directed the Foundation to make immediate grants to organizations that were important to him: $387,462 to the Sacramento Symphony Foundation; $232,477 to Music in the Mountains; $232,477 to the Chamber Music Society of Sacramento; and $309,970 to establish the J. David Ramsey Music Endowment at the Foundation to provide support for local classical music for many years to come. He also directed $387,462 to his alma mater Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania, bringing the total bequest amount to $1,549,848.

The Bear River High School football field in South County is known as J. David Ramsey Stadium, due to his long support as a volunteer for the high school in the Lake of the Pines area.

Ramsey’s “field of interest” endowment commemorates his great love of music. The J. David Ramsey Music Endowment will provide annual income for the Foundation to use for purposes and organizations that perpetuate Mr. Ramsey’s passion for music. Through this perpetual endowment, the Foundation will be able to make annual gifts to deserving regional organizations through a competitive process, providing support for classical music as it evolves through the years.

“Mr. Ramsey’s generosity will ensure that music continues to be part of life in the community for young and old alike,” said Foundation CEO Linda Beech Cutler. “When donors like Mr. Ramsey leave gifts that allow the Foundation to meet the needs of the future, their foresight ensures a vibrant community for years to come.”

Ramsey was born in Philadelphia in 1925 and spent his early life in Pennsylvania. Following his Army service in World War II, he attended Swarthmore College and graduated with a degree in civil engineering. From Ramsey’s early teenage years, summers in the rustic Adirondack Mountains had given him a great love of the outdoors, and he wanted to work in a job where he could spend much of his time in wild areas. He went to work for the United States Forest Service and moved to California in 1953, settling in the Sierra foothills.

Music was always a big part of Ramsey’s life, no matter where he was. He played the flute and piccolo as a student, performed on the mandolin at his nephew’s wedding, and played the piano throughout his life. During World War II, he even managed to write a symphony while fighting on the front lines in Europe. In his later years, he moved from the Sierra foothills to Davis in order to be close to performances at the Mondavi Center.

“Mr. Ramsey valued symphonic and chamber music as two classical arts forms that enrich our community and our lives,” said Chief Giving Officer Priscilla Enriquez. “His gift to the classical musical arts is a gift to lasting civic amenities in our region.”

For more information, contact Shirlee Tully at or (916) 765-9000.

About the Foundation: Sacramento Region Community Foundation has been the trusted steward of charitable assets, a community catalyst for meaningful change and the advocate for shaping vital impact through philanthropy since 1983. As the Sacramento Region’s center of philanthropy, the Foundation’s mission is to transform our community through focused leadership and advocacy that inspire partnerships and expand giving. Learn more at

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The Union Updated Sep 4, 2014 10:18PM Published Sep 4, 2014 02:02PM Copyright 2014 The Union. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.