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As vaccines against COVID-19 continue to roll out all over the world, there’s finally a sense of hope after a a long and difficult year. World-famous cellist Yo-Yo Ma just received his second dose, and he decided to celebrate the occasion by giving a surprise performance in a vaccine waiting room in Pittsfield, Massachusetts.
The part-time Berkshires resident wanted to “give something back” to his local community after he’d completed his vaccination course. He found a seat in the clinic observation area—masked and socially distanced away from the other patients—and sat down with his cello. He performed Ave Maria and the prelude to Bach’s Cello Suite No 1 to the small number of people waiting to receive their vaccine.
The intimate concert lasted 15 minutes, and marked exactly one year since the musician began his #SongsOfComfort series. On March 13, 2020, Ma took to Twitter to share his music, in the hopes that it would help people feel at ease during times of uncertainty. “In these days of anxiety,” he wrote, “I wanted to find a way to continue to share some of the music that gives me comfort. The first of my #SongsOfComfort: Dvorák – ‘Going Home.’ Stay Safe.” Since then, Ma has shared many home recordings, and he even played a series of pop-up concerts for essential workers, along with classical pianist Emanuel Ax.
Ma's latest surprise performance showcases his commitment to spreading optimism through his music. Berkshire Community College captured the moment and shared the videos online with the caption, “Today at the #MyBCC vaccine clinic, folks waiting in the observation area were graced by the musical talents of amazing cellist Yo-Yo Ma!”
Check out videos of the performance below.