Once a year, Dr. Timothy Lee and his fellow physicians in the Akron area leave their white coats and stethoscopes behind for a night of sweet axes and tasty licks.
And while doctors aren’t expected to rock out like Keith Richards or hit high notes like Freddie Mercury, these talented doctors prove that you can’t judge a record by its cover.
Docs Who Rock is an annual fundraising event for United Way of Summit County. The event began in 2004 and has raised more than $100,000. The event features bands that have at least one doctor who practices and/or lives in Summit County.
“I was speaking with a volunteer one evening years ago on ways we could improve our relationship with the local medical community,” said Michael Gaffney, vice president of marketing and communication at United Way. “He knew many doctors who didn’t golf on Wednesday afternoons, but were in their garage making music. We started brainstorming and came up with the concept for Docs Who Rock that evening. In 10 years, it has grown into this wonderful, entertaining program.”
Dr. Lee, an ER physician at Akron Children’s, performs lead guitar and vocals for The Chrome Brothers, which also includes drummer Harry Ostapowicz, manager of security at Akron Children’s. The Chrome Brothers were born in 2010. Dr. Lee’s friend, Chris Kenyon, plays bass, and occasionally, Dr. Lee’s wife, Amy, takes the mic.
The band heard about Docs Who Rock four years ago and decided to audition.
“We recorded some of our music and sent it in,” said Ostapowicz. “We didn’t expect to make it, but we were accepted.”
“It’s a great event,” Dr. Lee said. “What musician wouldn’t want to play in front of a crowd with 1,000 to 1,500 people? It’s a great cause and a lot of fun.”
“To play on a stage that professionals play on, in front of a crowd of that size, it’s a dream,” Ostapowicz said.
Docs Who Rock was held at E.J. Thomas Hall in October.
“We played very well,” said Dr. Lee. “The whole show was very entertaining. The Chrome Brothers didn’t win this year, but we didn’t have any dancing zombies like some other bands. That is our reasoning. We have already started plotting for the win next year. We’ll come up with something.”