Renowned cellist visits New River Gorge National Park

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Oct. 4—World-renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma paid a visit to southern West Virginia last week where he took in the sites and played for visitors of the New River Gorge National Park.

In the lead-up to his performance in Wheeling with the Wheeling Symphony Orchestra, Beckley Parks and Recreation Director Leslie Baker said she and members of her staff played host to Ma as he and his team toured the area.

During Ma's visit, Baker said she, along with some of the retired miners who work at Beckley's Exhibition Coal Mine, escorted Ma to the Nuttallburg mine site in the New River Gorge National Park.

While there, Baker said the miners were able to talk about and explain West Virginia's history with coal.

"It is such an honor and a privilege to always represent Beckley and southern West Virginia and put the best face forward and really let them know what we're truly all about," she said.

Baker said the miners also shared in a meal with Ma while at Nuttallburg. The meal was prepared by Beckley's Black Knight inside authentic miner dinner buckets. As part of that meal, Baker said they made sure to include pepperoni rolls for Ma to try.

Later in the day, Ma surprised visitors at Grandview with a pop-up concert.