Cellist Yo-Yo Ma surprises visitors with pop up performances in Acadia National Park

"It’s hard to put into words. It was a pretty magical moment."

In this screengrab, Yo-Yo Ma speaks during the Celebrating America Primetime Special on January 20, 2021. (Photo by Handout/Biden Inaugural Committee via Getty Images )

Those who happened to be in Acadia National Park last week were treated to two impromptu performances by world-renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma.

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Ma put on two pop-ups around Acadia on June 17, at Otter Point and the Jordan Pond House, as well as a planned sunrise show on June 18 at Schoodic Point.

The sunrise show was put on in partnership with Wabanaki Nation musicians for an event honoring Interior Secretary Deb Haaland’s first national park visit since assuming her role. Haaland is the first Native American cabinet secretary.

A very special surprise at Otter Point this afternoon…..

Posted by Friends of Acadia on Thursday, June 17, 2021

David MacDonald, president and CEO of Friends of Acadia, told NBC10 Boston the experience was incredibly special.


“I felt excited, I felt honored, inspired, a little nervous how it would all come off, whether they could indeed keep them surprised and pop-up events,” MacDonald said. “It’s hard to put into words. It was a pretty magical moment.”

Scenes from Acadia National Park captured by members of the Friends of Acadia Digital Media team during the week of June…

Posted by Friends of Acadia on Friday, June 18, 2021

This is not Ma’s first surprise performance. In March, he performed at a vaccine clinic in Pittsfield during his 15-minute observation period, and in September, the Berkshire Eagle reported that Ma teamed up with pianist Emanuel Ax to perform for essential workers in western Massachusetts.

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