A concertmaster with cancer needs your help

A concertmaster with cancer needs your help


norman lebrecht

December 05, 2022

Colleagues and friends are soliciting donations to help the family of Chas Wetherbee, who is undergoing extensive cancer treatment. Chas was concertmaster of the Columbus Symphony Orchestra, first violinist of the Carpe Diem String Quartet, and principal second violin of the National Symphony Orchestra.

He is the main provider for a family of five.

Read more about their situation and do help if you can here.


  • Sue Sonata Form says:

    This is simply awful. Cancer strikes at any age and can be so very dangerous. I hope donations can help this musician and his family. Thoughts and well-wishes for them.

  • Wahlberliner says:

    My sympathies for this gentleman, but what he and other US citizens really need is a universal healthcare system like in every other civilised country of the world. Individual charity will always be a poor substitute for social justice.

  • Emanuele P says:

    It’s totally ignoble that in such an “advanced” country people cannot have health without money, this is completely unacceptable in a civilized society. My mother was diagnosed with cancer in 2019 and could afford exams, chemotherapy, transports, even homecare, all fully provided by the State, everything totally for free. Nearly zero expenses. And this is Italy, not the best country of the world in terms of financial wealth of common people, not the Moon or another galaxy…

  • Jim Dukey says:

    Surely he has Health Care through the National Symphony.
    In the SF Ballet, Sick Leave was was compounded if not used, and Sick Leave could be donated from Players who had accumulated some Days they could spare.
    Paychecks keep coming that way.
    Good Luck to him and his Family.

    • Herr Doktor says:

      Having health insurance in the U.S. doesn’t mean you can afford treatment overall given the co-pays, out-of-pocket expenses, co-insurance, and various other ways in which treatment burden is shifted to “fully-insured” patients. And then if you have an insurance policy that is less than that, well…

      Even someone with a robust insurance policy is going to end up paying out of pocket many thousands of dollars *annually* for cancer treatment.

      • Henry williams says:

        How can a rich country have no free health

        • TishaDoll says:

          We have SO many middlemen to pay— drug reps, knee replacement ‘verifiers of proper product’….the list is endless as health is 20% of GDP…then Medicare fraud, and the government CANNOT negotiate prices with drug companies

        • Sue Sonata Form says:

          Because there is no such thing as “free” health care. Anywhere. Everybody pays, one way or another. In my own case, taxation and then $A7500 per annum on top – and still there are ‘gaps’ and lots of outgoings not picked up by the health fund. “Free health care” in my country (Australia) means waiting 18 months to 2 years for ‘elective’ surgery (replacement knees etc.)

          You betta have deep pockets for health care, no matter where you live.

          In the tragic case of this musician, he will need support for things beyond healthcare anyway – deriving from his inability to earn a living. Even with a working spouse, the reduction in income will be difficult even if there are ‘gaps’ in health costs beyond that covered by insurance.

          I hope this musician and his family can get the help they need and good luck to them for reaching out.

    • Bill says:

      I don’t think he’s employed by the National Symphony now, so sadly he has to face the horror that is the American healthcare system uninsured.