Famed cellist Yo-Yo Ma received his second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on Saturday at a clinic at BCC in Pittsfield. While being observed for an allergic reaction, he decided to whip out his cello and play.

Jonah Sykes is The Associate Director of Marketing and Communications at Berkshire Community College and I had a chance to speak with him to see how the whole thing went down.

Slater: So, did Yo-Yo Ma walk in with his cello, and did you recognize him?

Jonah: I looked into the registration area saw someone with a giant black case on their back, and I didn't know what it was. I assumed it was something robotic. I wasn't concerned, so I proceeded with what I was doing.

Slater: At what point did you realize it was Yo-Yo Ma?

Jonah: We were playing music for the nurses drawing up the shots and then Richard Hall told me you're gonna have to stop playing the music. I assumed it was just too loud, then he (Richard) said "Yo-Yo Ma is gonna perform in the observation area after his shot".

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Slater: So, he just started playing?

Jonah: He walked over and pulled up a chair and pulled out his cello and started playing "Ave Maria". Folks started getting closer (safely) to hear the performance and enjoy the moment. Some people left money in his cello case and some were even crying when he performed his Bach piece. It was really emotional.

Slater: Did he SAY anything?

Jonah: He did not say anything except to Richard and his nurse, that I know of. It was really sort of transcendental, it was these folks who have been vaccinated and could see the light at the end of the tunnel, and his performance just personified that.

The 65-year-old famed cellist lives part-time in The Berkshires.

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