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Sing for the World: Students Honor the Loss of Their Beloved Friend

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Kyle, posing in front of the camera in a black shirt while holding up a portable keyboard.

Loss is all around the world today; it’s inevitable. For Kyle Robinson, it came too soon. To remember the multi-talented, fun spirit of Kyle, Victoria Christie and her friends came together to create a foundation in his name. 

With the hopes of creating a scholarship for students interested in being a part of the music industry, Tori’s story inspires all that good things can come out of tragedy. The heart of the foundation is to provide opportunities for those who want to create music and go to school to study it so they can one day make music for the world to hear.

Music is food for the soul. For some people, it is all they have to turn to. For others, it’s how they express themselves. For Victoria Christie, it’s her passion and her future. 

As a senior Music Industry voice major at the College of Saint Rose in Albany, NY, Tori has spent the last three years of her life learning how to engineer and produce songs in the studio and what it is like to work for a publishing company.

The College of Saint Rose’s Music Industry program allows students to prepare themselves for the fast-paced, competitive world of music. Being accepted into this program provides students a tight-knit community where everyone can connect through their devotion to music.

Tori and her friends were lucky to have Kyle Robinson in their year. Kyle, also a Music Industry voice major, was a passionate musician. He was in a couple of bands, one called Pacer Test and the other named Waitress, in both of which he played instruments and sang. 

Kyle had many aspirations to perform, but also really enjoyed producing music. He helped anyone who needed further instruction and produced many rising musicians’ songs, including Grace Damon’s “Through the Night” and “Honey.”

Kyle, performing at a venue with a band, singing into the microphone, person playing bass in the background.

Unexpectedly, on his way back to Albany after returning home for the Fourth of July, Kyle was in a tragic car accident that took his life. 

Those who knew Kyle found solace in the fact that they were not alone. “You would think that you and Kyle [were the only ones who] had something special,” Tori said. “Then hearing everyone [else] talk about Kyle, you realize that he really did have something special with everyone and everyone is feeling the same way.” 

Kyle was 21 years old and had his whole life ahead of him. For Tori and her friends, it is the first major loss they had experienced in their lives. Staying together and figuring out how to grieve is comforting during such a difficult time. “We are not the only ones going through it, and we don’t have to go through it alone,” Tori explained. “Even if we struggle, we struggle together, and we figure it out.”

Within the first week of Kyle’s passing, there was talk about starting a scholarship in Kyle’s name. Tori and her friends knew the family had asked for donations to their local high school instead of covering the cost of flowers at the service.

Someone then suggested the creation of a scholarship that people could donate to. Creating the scholarship was a collective decision because everyone wanted to keep Kyle’s spirit alive in some way.

“He was just that kind of person where even if you talked to him for two seconds, he made your day better,” Tori described. “He was the perfect balance of sarcastic and the funniest person you’ll ever meet but also very loving and respected [by] everyone.”

Kyle in a black shirt, balancing a keyboard on a persons back as they are bent over.

Together, Tori and her friends are creating the Kyle Robinson Memorial Foundation. Currently, the group is in the paperwork process of setting it up. Their first major goal is to establish a fund for a scholarship that can give a substantial amount of money to someone who embodies Kyle’s characteristics and passion.

Their aim is to begin accepting donations in January 2021. While they are getting set up, those who are interested in receiving updates on the foundation can send an email to christiev490@strose.edu to be put on an email list.

Although the process is not simple, creating the foundation is something that will help everyone heal. It provides a distraction from the pain they are feeling. It also keeps the group together, even if life separates them after graduation this year. Tori and her friends will not let grief consume them. Instead, they are making Kyle’s death mean something.

“I feel like Kyle’s spirit was the type of spirit that you really don’t want to live without, and so I think [this foundation] will help a lot of people and I hope it will.” 

The Kyle Robinson Memorial Foundation will provide future students the opportunity to pursue their passion for music even if it seems impossible. It will help a student pay to go to a university and get the best advantage they can in the music industry. And most importantly, to those who knew and loved Kyle, it will keep Kyle Robinson’s memory alive.

Tragic things happen and the world doesn’t seem fair, but I think good can come out of anything.”

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