Undergraduate student Micco Daniels passes away

Photo of Micco Daniels playing the cello

A talented cellist whose diverse musical influences ranged from classical (Yo-Yo Ma) to rock (Arctic Monkeys and Red Hot Chili Peppers) to hip hop (Immortal Technique and Dilated Peoples), rising second-year music student Micco Daniels passed away recently. He was 19.

Daniels was raised in a musical family. His great-grandmother was a pianist, his grandmother played the organ, and his father, Wallace Daniels, is a trombonist. Micco began studying the cello in middle school after a class assignment introduced him to the work of Yo-Yo Ma. 

Wallace realized his son had musical aptitude at a young age and encouraged him often to pursue his passion.

“It was obvious how happy Micco was when he was playing cello,” he said.

In addition to his passion for music, Daniels enjoyed learning other languages, and planned to study Russian with his sister, Nokomis. They also had an interest in learning Tagalog as part of their Filipino heritage.

A 2019 graduate of Mount Vernon High School in Alexandria, Virginia, Daniels was introduced to Case Western Reserve University by his high school orchestra director, Alberto Rodriguez (CWR ‘15).

“It was the greatest honor of my career when he told me he had chosen to follow in my footsteps at CWRU,” Rodriguez shared.

He describes Micco as “a brilliant student, cellist … and human being. He brought light, laughter, wisdom and kindness to everyone he touched, and he will be missed greatly.”

Faculty members and friends from Case Western Reserve University and the Cleveland Institute of Music remember Daniels as a talented musician with a calming presence and good sense of humor.

“Micco felt like a longtime friend from our very first conversation,” said Elizabeth Javorsky, a rising second-year music and international studies student. “He was always genuine and accepting and made you feel comfortable being yourself.”

Kathleen Horvath, director of orchestras and music education professor at Case Western Reserve, recalled Micco as “smart, funny, caring and very creative. Even though he was only here for a short time, he left an indelible impression on all of us. May we take it and honor him by giving it to someone else.”

Wallace Daniels is grateful his son chose Case Western Reserve, and hopes to find a way to remember his son at the university.

“Micco really blossomed during his time on campus,” he said. “He found like-minded friends and enjoyed the local arts community. 

“He was an extremely kind, loving, peaceful and beautiful person. Usually kids look up to their father,” Wallace said, “but I looked up to Micco.”

The Daily will share information about memorial services should details become available. 

Students who would like support during this time are encouraged to contact counseling services at 216.368.5872. This line is staffed by a counselor 24 hours a day, seven days a week. 

Faculty and staff can access counseling at any time by calling IMPACT Solutions at 1.800.227.6007; you can learn more about their programs at myimpactsolution.com.