A Registered 501(c)3 Public Charity

Ross Maki Memorial Fund

Music begins where the possibilities of language end

Jean Sibelius

Ross Maki Memorial Fund

The Ross Maki Memorial Fund was established in 2020 in loving memory of Ross by his parents Bruce Maki and Kim West. The purpose of the fund is to encourage young musicians in Mid-Michigan through financial assistance in support of their musical journey. Monetary grants are provided for but not limited to; support of non-for-profit musical performance and educational organizations; assistance with music lessons, and the purchase, rental, and repair of musical instruments. Donating to Ross’ Memorial Fund is a great way to invest in our young Mid-Michigan performing artists. In addition, Ross’ parents fully fund the administrative costs of the fund so that 100% of your charitable donations go back to the community.

About Ross

Ross was born in Glen Ellyn, IL on June 3, 1990 and attended Glenbard South High School and Birch Creek Music Academy.  He was an excellent student with a gift for music starting cello at age 8 and piano at age 11.  In Illinois Ross was a member of the Chicago Youth Symphony and the DuPage Symphony, in addition to playing in the Northern Illinois University Philharmonic when he studied there.  After moving to Ithaca, MI, Ross taught cello as part of the ABC Music Studio and was co-teacher of the Symphonic String Ensemble of the Gratiot String Association.  Ross was Principal Cellist of the Cadillac Symphony Orchestra, and a member of the Alma Symphony Orchestra and Soo Opera Theater Orchestra. He also served as Principal Cellist of the Chippewa River Chamber Orchestra, and the Vintage Strings Orchestra, which later became the Pine River Chamber Orchestra (PRCO).  He was named Chief Executive Officer of PRCO with that expansion of the orchestra and took a major role in guiding its evolution.  Ross was a superb chamber musician and was the cellist in Quartet con Spirito and also performed in a viola-cello and sometimes viola-piano duo, Blue Skies.  Ross described himself as a multi-instrumentalist and took delight in experimenting with very contemporary musical sound using his Moog Synthesizer and his musical saw. In all his performances, and most particularly as a soloist and chamber musician, Ross had a great capacity to express emotion through music.  He had an intuitive grasp of what composers were saying and was able to infuse that directly into his performances, inspiring his colleagues and moving his audiences. He was a sensitive and supportive teacher. Ross died unexpectedly on March 11, 2020, when his beautiful earthly music was forever silenced.  His direct contributions to the music life of Mid-Michigan are and will continue to be sorely missed; the Ross Maki Memorial Fund will create a legacy to assist other young musicians to experience the joy Ross felt in music.   

Scholarship Details


Fund Administrators

  • Bruce Maki
  • Kim West


CharitySmith accepts donations in two ways:

By Mail:
Ross Maki Memorial Fund
CharitySmith Nonprofit Foundation
13100 Filly Lane
Truckee, CA 96161

Use credit card by clicking the link below.


The above Memorial Fund is established as a division of Charitysmith Nonprofit Foundation (EIN 87-0636433). All donations are tax deductible in accordance with federal tax law. Receipts for tax purposes are sent via US Mail within two weeks of donation. Please consider asking if your employer participates in a gift-matching program. If so, your donation may be matched by your employer.

For questions regarding your donation or this memorial fund please contact CharitySmith.

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