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PlaywithEric pays tribute to lost WVU student

Eric Domanico Portrait in WVU Marching Band Uniform

West Virginia University Assistant Professor of Saxophone Jeffrey Siegfried couldn’t think of a better way to honor his late student Eric Domanico’s life than with a musical tribute.

“Eric Domanico was a really special musician and he brightened the lives of all who knew him,” Siegfried said. “It was obvious to everyone at WVU that he was destined for great things as a saxophonist.”

Domanico, of South Lyon, Michigan, participated in the Mountaineer Marching Band and performed in a saxophone quartet on campus. But he was also fighting mental health struggles. In July 2020, Domanico took his own life.

Siegfried brought together 40 musicians from around the world to play "Irish Tune from County Derry,” along with a recording of Domanico performing the song with his quartet. Home videos and photos of Domanico with his family play throughout the video. 

Siegfried produced the video in partnership with The Eric Domanico Foundation, founded after Domanico’s passing to remember his life and support artists with their physical, socio-emotional and educational needs through grants and scholarships. A full list of participating performers and creatives can be found at https://www.ericdomanicofoundation.com/play-with-eric. The foundation is continuing to seek performers to add to the #PlaywithEric initiative.

Photo of Eric Domanico with members of his saxophone quartet

“Carrying on without him this year has been difficult and tragic for all of us but the formation of The Eric Domanico Foundation has given everyone hope that we can help other young artists who struggle with their mental health,” Siegfried said. “We encourage you to follow us and join our next musical collaboration through the #playwitheric initiative.”

WVU's Carruth Center provides psychological, psychiatric and counseling services for WVU community members at 304-293-4431. WVU’s Crisis Text Line is free, confidential and available 24/7. Text WVU to 72174. If you a WVU student outside West Virginia but want to speak with a counselor, you may use My SSP; services are free and confidential. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress at 1-800-273-8255.