An Unexpected Club By Audrey Parrish

Room 232 is filled with the sounds of talking, laughing, and most of all, a persistent humming sound. On Wednesday and Friday mornings, students gather here to play music on a somewhat unconventional instrument. This instrument is the kazoo, and these students are the members of the kazoo club here at West.

At first, when it started up last year, kazoo club was just a group of friends hanging out and playing the kazoo. Since then, it has expanded to include all grades and anyone who wants to join. 

“I’ve been surprised at the growth and just the number of students who have started participating and coming in on Wednesday mornings and having fun,” said Megan Johnson, the club’s advisor. 

She says that when some of her students approached her about starting this club, she wondered about how successful it would become. 

“I sort of wondered if maybe this is just going to be a this year sort of thing or I wondered about like, if they would actually meet every week and stuff, because I figured, you know, after a while, maybe they would get busy with other things,” Johnson said. 

This didn’t happen, however, because the club has met every week since it started. 

“I was really impressed and thought it was cool how they made they made that time for even just 20 minutes every week to come in and be silly,” Johnson said. “And, you know, have fun, and also, you know, talking about ways that they could get out and make others laugh and have fun.” 

These thoughts about performing have started being planned, too. The club is performing in the Playathon on Nov. 15. 

 In room 232, the atmosphere is a relaxed one as everyone pulls out their kazoos and begins to play. This unorganized and unique sound is a wonderful one to the members of the club. 

“Not everybody plays the kazoo. There’s a little bit of that unique factor that comes in when you start going to kazoo club because you’re like, ‘I’m not your average person, I don’t play [a normal instrument]’,” said Sila Duran ’23. 

At the beginning of the meetings, people mostly just hang around and talk, but after a while things start to take shape. Since the club is planning to perform and the Playathon, they now have to practice songs and split up people for parts. The club has had to prepare like this before, however. “Last year we practiced and rehearsed a lot because we were going to play at the Children’s Hospital.” says Sydney Wildes ’21, one of the co-founders of Kazoo Club. “We actually didn’t end up doing that because a few of us got sick on the weekend we were supposed to. So, we kind of have practice dividing parts and stuff.” 

And everyone helps, too. When they are choosing the songs they are going to play, everyone has input and suggestions. Everyone can have an opinion, even if you’ve only been a member for a few days. That factor, the freedom and acceptance, is what draws people to the club.  

“I figured it was one of those clubs where you can just show up and chill and have fun,” says Duran. And that’s exactly what Kazoo Club is. 

Sydney Wildes has been a member of Kazoo Club from the beginning.

 “Last year, right before the club fair, Emma [Kearney ’21] and Erica [Buettner ’21] and a few other people were talking about it like, ‘we should have a kazoo club!’ and of course they weren’t being serious, but I was like, ‘we totally should!’,” Wildes says. “I was the original person that actually went and got the sheet, filled it out, got a sponsor. So out of a joke, we started the Kazoo Club.” This joke has turned out pretty successful. 

 “When we started it we were like, ‘okay so it’s just going to be us we’re just gonna sit here, play kazoos and kind of mess around the whole time.” said Wildes. “And that’s pretty much what it was last year. We weren’t really out there, but then this year we thought maybe we could actually get people take it seriously.” 

The club has gone from being just a group of friends to having around 15 members, of all different ages, in the past year and a half. Kazoo Club’s next gig is coming up at the Playathon on Nov. 15th and they are going to be ready for it. 

“We’ve tripled in our numbers. We’re actually playing gigs, making merch, I feel like that’s a huge accomplishment for a club that started off as a complete and total joke.” Wildes said.