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Biden Inaugural Committee via AP

In this image from video, Yo-Yo Ma performs during the Celebrating America event on Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021, following the inauguration of Joe Biden as the 46th president of the United States.

Cellist Yo-Yo Ma brought his instrument along to a COVID-19 vaccine clinic and turned his time in the observation area into an impromptu concert.

The classical music star was getting his second dose of the vaccine on Saturday at Berkshire Community College in Massachusetts and treated health care workers and fellow vaccine recipients to a cello performance. According to the Berkshire Eagle, Ma lives in the area part-time and told local vaccine administrators he wanted to give back to the community.

The community college shared clips of Ma’s short performance, showing the cellist masked up in the school gym. He played the prelude to Bach’s Cello Suite No. 1, receiving applause and cheers from the socially distanced group of people who had also just received shots.

It’s not the first time Ma has shared his talents with locals during the pandemic. In September, he and pianist Emanuel Ax rode on the back of a flat-bed truck to do pop-up outdoor performances for essential workers.

After Saturday’s clinic, Massachusetts Rep. Smitty Pignatelli praised Ma for always giving his best to the Berkshires. “Bringing hope and optimism through his beautiful music,” he tweeted.


Twitter: @repsmitty

Though the pandemic halted concerts in cities locked down around the globe, Ma has stayed active. He performed in livestreamed tributes to coronavirus victims and shared resources on social media for artists who have struggled.


Twitter: @YoYo_Ma

Saturday also marked one year since he began his #SongsofComfort series, which began with a simple recording shared on Twitter and went on to inspire other musicians to share their work and collaborate even as they were stuck at home. In December, Ma released an album titled Songs of Comfort and Hope.





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