Yo-Yo Ma played a concert at a vaccine clinic as he waited for his second shot

The last year has been quite traumatic for the entire world. At times it felt like we were all in a collective nightmare dealing with COVID’s aftermath. It has been rough, so when I get a sweet story in my inbox, of course I want to share it. Classical musician Yo-Yo Ma decided to share a bit of joy and comfort. He was at Berkshire Community College during his fifteen minute observation period after receiving his second vaccine dose. Yo Yo pulled out his cello and a did an impromptu concert. This isn’t the first time Yo-You shared his music to comfort a world in turmoil. At the beginning of the pandemic, Yo Yo shared some performances of his music. Below is more on the story from Berkshire Eagle:

The world-famous cellist and part-time Berkshires resident completed his vaccination course at the field house clinic, and he “wanted to give something back,” Richard Hall of the Berkshire COVID-19 Vaccine Collaborative told The Eagle.

Yo-Yo Ma took a seat along the wall of the observation area, masked and socially distanced away from the others. He went on to pass 15 minutes in observation playing cello for an applauding audience, in what Hall called a “very special” concert that capped the day’s vaccination event.

“What a way to end the clinic,” wrote Hall in an email.

Berkshire Community College shared news of Yo-Yo Ma’s informal performance on social media, and state Rep. William “Smitty” Pignatelli commended the musician for “bringing hope and optimism through his beautiful music.” The college shared snippets of the concert on Facebook.

In a poetic bit of circumstance, Yo-Yo Ma’s second coronavirus shot and subsequent concert comes exactly one year after he posted his first recording of himself playing his instrument using the hashtag #SongsOfComfort.

Amid the fear and uncertainty that marked the early days of the pandemic, the renowned musician started to share the recordings in hope they’d bring solace and connection to a frightened nation.

“In these days of anxiety,” he wrote on Twitter on March 13, 2020, “I wanted to find a way to continue to share some of the music that gives me comfort. The first of my #SongsOfComfort: Dvořák – “Going Home”

[From Berkshire Eagle]

This is such a sweet and comforting story. It is so nice to read when celebrities do these sort of acts of service, especially during times when things seem so uncertain. As a lover of classical music, I have listened to Yo Yo and he is magnificent. Part of me is absolutely jealous that I could not be there for the experience. I am sure everyone at the vaccine center appreciated this moment. It is a gentle reminder that we are all alive and in this together. Let’s enjoy a few of the clips that were posted by Berkshire CC from the impromptu concert. Hopefully it will soothe your soul as well.

Yo Yo back in 2020:


photos credit: Avalon.red

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32 Responses to “Yo-Yo Ma played a concert at a vaccine clinic as he waited for his second shot”

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  1. Anna says:

    Yo-Yo Ma is a brilliant and beautiful human being. Thank you for sharing stories of such joy amidst these dark days.

  2. Lightpurple says:

    I have been following Yo Yo Ma’s #SongsofComfort since the beginning and they have helped me calm myself and focus. A friend got to enjoy this recent, lovely performance while she got her second shot. Yo Yo Ma is truly one of the best of us, using his incredible gift to bring us comfort. A national treasure.

  3. tempest prognosticator says:

    He is a lovely man. This has moved me to tears.

    • Jo73c says:

      Same here – literally crying right now. By coincidence also listening to the music of Yo Yo Ma.
      I have been listening to him play a lot during the latest lockdown (here in the UK) and it has helped me immensely.

    • AAD says:


    • MaryContrary says:

      I just put this on to show my 12 year old-I had him study Yo Yo Ma for our “Friday Fun Day” where I pick an artist for him to study each Friday during this homeschool year. I just burst into tears when I saw this clip. This whole year has been so emotional for so many different reasons-and his beautiful music just captures these feelings.

  4. Wendy says:

    Just wanted to comment on how beautifully this story is written- I’m getting my first jab today and reading this honestly brought tears. I’m finally feeling optimistic- thank you!

    • AMA1977 says:

      Me too and me too! I am so grateful for the chance to protect my family, myself, and our community; my husband goes tomorrow. My daughter (8) is bummed that she and her brother (13) can’t get their vaccines yet, but we are hoping for that soon as well. Good luck today! 🙂

      • Wendy says:

        Thank you! It went really well – best of luck to you and your family with yours as well. Yea science!

    • Ripley says:

      Listening to him play brought me to tears. Doesn’t take much these days. He’s a lovely (and funny in person!) man and this is such a beautiful story.

  5. Lily says:

    This pandemic has somehow managed to expose and make it easy to identify all the good souls of the world versus all the ass hats.

  6. Dlc says:

    A wonderful story to wake up to on a Monday morning!

  7. Laura says:

    As someone who loves classical music and is a health care provider I would have been bawling my eyes out in gratitude if I got to witness this. Love Yo Yo Ma and that beautiful cello!

  8. Rose says:


  9. Wiglet Watcher says:

    With how many true virtuosos are left and how rare it is to see them in an intimate setting… this was lovely!

  10. Lady Luna says:

    So jelly! I would have loved to have been there.

  11. Ang says:

    What a nice story

  12. Petra says:

    Thanks for this post. Part of my self-care since the lock down is repeat viewing of Music of Strangers Yoyo Ma and the Silk Road Assembly documentary. The scene with the hip hop dancer is pure magic. Everyone in the documentary shines.

  13. Esmom says:

    I can’t imagine how magical that must have been. I feel like we don’t deserve Yo Yo Ma. Here’s hoping good will eventually prevail over so much hate that seems to permeate humanity.

  14. Case says:

    This is joyful and beautiful. He seems like a lovely man.

    I got my second shot on Saturday. My dad is halfway through his series, and my mom is going for her first shot in a couple weeks. Feeling overwhelmingly grateful that I’ll be able to see my family safely very soon.

  15. Melanie P says:

    Yoyo 💕 is so kind to play for everyone there

  16. Faithmobile says:

    Wow! What a treasure. Love this man and his music. My local classical music station decided early on that they wouldn’t mention covid so that we could all just escape into the music, it’s been my refuge.

  17. Margot says:

    We need more Yo-Yo in this world!

  18. JK says:

    This makes me strangely emotional… I can’t quite explain why.

  19. Max says:

    Love Yo-Yo Ma and this story!

  20. ellie says:

    This made me cry, honest big a** tears.

    He seems like such a beautiful human being. I remember listening to those clips of his a year ago when the pandemic first hit and they gave me comfort.

  21. Feeshalori says:

    I just burst into tears at the opening notes of the Ave Maria. What a wonderful compassionate man.

  22. Anna says:

    Gentle note to @celebitchy that Yo-Yo Ma’s name is spelled three different ways in the post, should be Yo-Yo Ma. Thank you! 🙂

  23. Amando says:

    That is so beautiful!

  24. iconoclast59 says:

    Thank you for posting this Yo-Yo Ma seems like a great guy. The music in the second Berkshire tweet is Bach’s Cello Suite No. 1 in G Major. It’s a beautiful piece that really brings out the cello’s sonorous tones. In a weird twist of ironic trivia, it’s also what Ma plays in The West Wing at a White House concert for the fictional President Bartlet. The music triggers the PTSD of a character named Josh, who was critically wounded in an assassination attempt on the president; the long high notes bring back memories of the sirens and chaos of that event. It’s a powerful episode, one of the best in the series.