SOUTH LYON, Mich. – World-class saxophonist Eric Domanico would have turned 20 years old on Monday, but he unfortunately lost his battle with mental illness over the summer.
Musicians across the globe are honoring the South Lyon teen while bringing awareness to depression among the youth.
The childhood photos of Eric Domanico are like any other families’ -- birthday parties, playing outside, friends, family and just being a kid.
He grew up to be a talented musician on a full scholarship at West Virginia University.
He brought so much love to everyone he knew. For years, he had struggled with depression and anxiety, but things were made worse back in March when the pandemic started.
His way of coping was through music, but that changed too when COVID hit.
“I think if Eric had lived, he would have been a superstar musician,” said Jeff Siegfried, his saxophone instructor.
To honor Eric’s memory, 40 saxophonists from around the world came together to perform with Eric in a virtual tribute. Composers structured the composition around an existing recording of Eric so they could perform with him one final time.
“I was with my sister-in-law when we played it,” said Claire Domanico, Eric’s mother. “We all cried together.”
His parents are hoping their son’s story will enlighten others.
“We need to work as a community and make mental health number one in education, in school,” said Frank Domanico, Eric’s father.
More performances with Eric will happen again as his friends want to honor him and share his story .
Organizers invite anyone who is a saxophonist to join play with Eric as they try to build towards a follow up video with 1,000 saxophonists.
For more information on the Eric Domanico Foundation, to donate or contribute, visit the official website here or its official Facebook page here.