Internationally acclaimed cellist Yo-Yo Ma celebrated receiving his second dose of the coronavirus vaccine by performing an impromptu concert for those waiting in line after him.
Ma, who has won 18 Grammy Awards and sold millions of records during his career, was filmed performing in a mask at the vaccine site in Berkshire Community College, Massachusetts, on Saturday.
The 15-minute turn included renditions of pieces by Bach and Schubert, and at its close prompted an enthusiastic round of applause and cheers from the lucky crowd of socially distanced patients.
Ma, 65, had “wanted to give something back”, Richard Hall of the Berkshire Covid-19 Vaccine Collaborative told local paper the Berkshire Eagle. “What a way to end the clinic,” he added.
When Ma had first visited the clinic for his first shot, he did so quietly, taking in the surroundings, staff said. But brought his cello when he returned for the second shot.
Staff described how a hush fell across the clinic as Ma began to play. “It was so weird how peaceful the whole building became, just having a little bit of music in the background,” said Leslie Drager, the lead clinical manager for the vaccination site, according to the Washington Post.
More than 530,000 Americans have died after contracting Covid-19. Last week the Biden administration passed its $1.9tn coronavirus relief bill, the biggest expansion of the American welfare state in decades.
Biden has said he would order states to make vaccinations available to all adults in the US by 1 May. He said he hoped that by 4 July this year, Americans could both celebrate Independence Day and “begin to mark our independence from this virus”.
PA Media contributed to this report