coronavirus pandemic

Yo-Yo Ma Gives Impromptu Performance at Mass. Vaccine Clinic

Yo-Yo Ma played an impromptu concert for people being observed after their COVID-19 vaccines were administered at Berkshire Community College.

Getty Images for The New Yorker

World-famous cellist Yo-Yo Ma surprised some Massachusetts residents who had just received their COVID-19 vaccines on Saturday.

Ma played an impromptu concert for people who were being observed after their vaccines were administered at Berkshire Community College, the school said on Instagram.

As it turns out, Ma was at the vaccine clinic to receive his own shot, according to the Berkshire Eagle. The 65-year-old part-time Berkshires resident is now one of more than 880,000 Bay State residents fully vaccinated against the virus.

After being jabbed in the arm, Ma took a seat along the wall of the observation area, masked and socially distanced. Then for 15 minutes, he played the cello to an appreciative and applauding audience, the newspaper reported and clips shared by BCC on social media show.

The world-renowned musician put on the "very special" performance because he "wanted to give something back," Richard Hall of the Berkshire COVID-19 Vaccine Collaborative told the newspaper.

State Rep. Smitty Pignatelli called Ma a class act, saying on Twitter that the cellist brings "hope and optimism through his beautiful music."

Ironically, it was exactly one year ago that Ma started to share recordings on Twitter to bring comfort during uncertain times at the beginning of the pandemic, writing, "In these days of anxiety, I wanted to find a way to continue to share some of the music that gives me comfort."

According to the Eagle, this is not the first time Ma has surprised people during the pandemic with his music. He joined Emanuel Ax in September for a series of concerts for essential workers.

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