Man Who Jumped From Hotel Balcony Identified

Sean McGrellis was a local church musician.

Sean McGrellis from his LinkedIn page

Sean McGrellis from his LinkedIn page

PLEASE NOTE: This article was written and published in 2015.

The friends and family of Sean McGrellis are grieving his loss after the 37-year-old Williamstown, New Jersey, man jumped from a balcony high up at Center City’s Embassy Suites Hotel on Saturday afternoon. He has been identified by the Philadelphia Medical Examiner’s Office, and the death was ruled a suicide.

Bystanders saw McGrellis climb out onto his 25th-floor balcony at the hotel on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, and some watched as he threw himself to his death. One eyewitness caught the jump on a disturbing video that is, unfortunately, making the rounds on social media.

“I knew Sean as a church musician and an arts administrator,” says Rich Galassini of Germantown’s longstanding Cunningham Piano Company, which worked with McGrellis on the Philadelphia International Music Festival in Bryn Mawr on several occasions. “The Sean I knew dealt with challenges every day and made it work every time. He showed a positive attitude that was infectious if you spent time around him. I never saw a side of him that was in such pain.”

In addition to being the administrative director of that festival, McGrellis was a church musician, specializing in Catholic masses, according to his LinkedIn page.

He was also a karaoke fan, based on some of the memories left on his obituary page:

Sean spent a good two years as a regular vocalist at Karaoke Blvd. He was a favorite performer among the regulars. “Unchained Melody” was a favorite of his. He and I shared a love for the musical Wicked. The last song we performed as a duet together was “For Good.” I’ll miss his quick messages on Facebook and I take comfort in knowing peace is finally with him. My love goes out to his family and friends. <3

A service will be held at Father Thomas Barcelona in Woodbury on Friday.

For confidential support if you are having thoughts of suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Learn about the warning signs of suicide at the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.