Robbin Thompson Endowment for Youth in Music


The Robbin Thompson Endowment for Youth in Music was established in memory of Robbin Thompson to continue his legacy of nurturing local music, music education, and the performing arts.

Robbin Thompson was a singer, songwriter, husband, father, and grandfather who was unfailingly dedicated to the Richmond, Virginia music community. His musical career spanned more than 40 years. Robbin shared the stage with many rock n’ roll legends, including Bob Dylan, Bonnie Raitt, and Crosby, Stills & Nash. He was the lead singer in the Bruce Springsteen band Steel Mill and recorded more than a dozen albums.

Robbin was most well-known in Virginia for co-authoring “Sweet Virginia Breeze,” which, after spending decades as the “unofficial state song,” was named as the official popular state anthem in 2015.

He supported a number of organizations dedicated to music education, and was recognized for his contributions to the Virginia arts community when he was honored with the CenterStage Foundation’s 2014 Renaissance Award.

He was a prolific songwriter and always welcomed the opportunity to collaborate with fellow Richmond musicians. Above all he loved live music, and he spent much of his adult life sharing his music with audiences in Virginia, up and down the east coast, and on several European tours.

As a self-taught musician who discovered his love of song as a child, music education was a cause close to Robbin’s heart. He collaborated closely with SPARC (School of the Performing Arts in the Richmond Community), an organization that creates life-changing programs for children of all abilities. Robbin was also an active supporter of JAMinc, a Richmond organization dedicated to connecting independent musicians with a wider audience through in-school musical performances, monthly concerts, festivals, and workshops.

We established the Robbin Thompson Endowment for Youth in Music to ensure that Robbin’s commitment to music education in the Richmond community lives on. The Endowment will continue to cultivate a musical community in Richmond and will help nurture future generations of local music legends.