Concerto for Kazoo and Famous Cellist

Concerto for Kazoo and Famous Cellist is a short (approx 20-25 min.) piece for Kazoo, Cello Solo, Narrator, and Orchestra.

This piece is adaptable to almost any size orchestra and ANY number of kazoo players in the "Kazoo Chorus."

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Complete script follows.


for Kazoo and Famous Cellist*

(for Cello, Kazoo, Piano or Orchestra, Narrator, and everybody else)

by Justin Locke

The Kazoo went out walking one fine afternoon,
When he heard the Cello, playing a tune.

[Music 1 Begins: Opening of 3rd mvt., Haydn D Major Cello Concerto]
[Music ends]

Then the Cello stopped playing and he saw the Kazoo
And said, "Come on in. . . and how do you do?"

"Very well," said the Kazoo, and he came in and sat
Then he looked up and said, "I wish I could do that."

"I see," said the Cello. "Well, let's have some fun.
Just follow along and you'll see how it's done.

I will teach you a tune; we will both play each note
Until you have learned it by heart, or by rote."

"What's the difference?" said the Kazoo.
"Same thing. Now don't worry.
Just play each note slowly, and don't be in a hurry."

[Music 2: Cello plays theme (Pachelbel Canon) slowly, Kazoo imitates:]

So the Cello played notes of a tune one by one Which the Kazoo would repeat. . .
Until they were done.
[End music 2]

"Bravo!" said the Cello. "A fine, fine rendition.
Now excuse me, I'm off to the big competition."

"Competition," said the Kazoo, "is a thing I've not seen.
And it's such a large word; just what does it mean?"

"A competition... well, it's a sort of contest.
And you get a prize if they think you're the best."

"Well," said the Kazoo. "Is there anything wrong
With-- well, you know-- with my tagging along?"

And so, as the two of them walked on their way
The Cello showed what he was planning to play.

[Music 3: Cello Solo: Gigue from Bach 1st Suite] [Music 3 Ends]

So at last they arrived at the big concert hall
Which, by the way, made them both feel small

And walked around lost 'til they found the stage doorman
A large, nasty person whose name was Big Norman.

"Excuse me," said the Cello. "I have come here to play."
But Norman looked up and he said... "Go away."

"What do you mean?" said the Cello, while hiding his fear.
"What I mean," said Big Norman, "is you can't come in here.

The ones we lets in here are those what resembles
Musical things that look like ... enSEMMbulls."

"EnSEMMbulls?" said the Cello. "You mean ensembles, you dope."
This last interjection of course ended all hope

Of getting past Norman, who said, "Get lost, you fools,
And don't ever come back without knowing the rules.

The sign says, NO SOLOISTS. This is only for GROUPS!"
And the Cello looked at the Kazoo, and said, "Oops."

And they both walked away and sat down and reflected
On the feeling of being so totally rejected.

[Music 4: Opening, 3rd Mvt., Brahms 2nd Piano Concerto. Kazoo plays oboe part]
[End Music]

"Too bad you have no one to play with," said the Kazoo
"Yeah." said the Cello. "Hey, wait a minute. I do!

I have the best partner anyone's ever seen. . .
Right here!" And the Kazoo said, "Uh, just what do you mean?

There's no one around here except me and you."
"That's absolutely right, MAESTRO KAZOO."

"Maestro?" said the Kazoo. "What are you talking about?!"
"Calm down," said the Cello. "There's no need to shout.

Just play that little tune that I taught you to play.
Congratulations; you are now my protege."

"What's that?" said the Kazoo.
"It means my best student."
"That's very nice," said the Kazoo, "but do you think this is prudent?

What if I mess up? What if the audience boos?"
"Don't sweat it," said the Cello. "We've got nothing to lose."

[Pachelbel Canon begins; NARR must now read one line per 4/4 bar, to end]

So the two of them marched to the doorman so rude
Their courage, to the sticking place, now almost screwed

And announced, "We are here to play... A Duet."
And at this the doorman became quite upset.

But they walked past the doorman like he never existed
And went to the table where the entries were listed

[Vamp ends; segue to Bar 3; Violins enter]

And once they described how their names were pronounced
They asked the MC to go have them announced.

And the Master of Ceremonies came out and said
"Ladies and Gents, it seems I was misled;

I thought we had shown all the entrants to you
But we have one more entry: a Cello and... A KAZOO?"

So the Kazoo and the Cello walked out on the stage
Trying to think of a way to assuage

An exceptional case of just awful stage fright
Which was made that much worse by a glaring spotlight.

And as each of them made sure that they were in tune,
The Kazoo thought, "this cannot be over too soon!"

But the Kazoo started thinking, and his stage fright subsided
"I guess they're all laughing, but I have decided

That I'm going to give this my very Kazoo best.
I'll have lots of time later for being depressed."

And so he proceeded to play his Kazoo part
With not much technique, but lots of Kazoo heart;

[Music 5: Kazoo plays melodic theme of Pachelbel Canon, with Cello obligato]

And hoped that he would manage to get through somehow
While the Cello played notes never heard of 'til now.

[NARR pauses for bars 21, 22, 23, and 24, with cello solo]

And then a judge stood, which filled them with dread
And he turned to the audience behind him and said

"Ladies and gents, we HAD reached a decision
But after hearing these two we have made a revision.

The judges and I have decided between us
That this... this Kazoo must be some sort of genius!

We can't figure out how you make that sound.
Since we don't understand it, it must be profound.

Therefore, the committee and I deem it wise
To award the Kazoo and the Cello... first prize."

And there was much applause, but that's not intended
To imply that this story has, in any way, ended

For the fact is that this one little Kazoo
Is not that much different from me or from you.

All of us are like the Kazoo in a way
And if given a chance, well, we too can play

And together, make music that will be quite sonorous.
Oh my gosh! Listen! It's a whole Kazoo chorus!

[NARR pauses for 6 bars as Orch/Audience/Kazoo Chorus plays Canon on kazoos)]

[Orch dims, gradually leaving cello & Kazoo playing alone]

In the process of doing whatever you decide to
Always look for the genius that's locked up inside you.

If you look hard enough, and have the courage to believe--
you will find inspiration in the strangest of places. . .

[Kazoo & Cello left playing alone, to end]


*If a Famous Cellist is unavailable, an obscure cellist may be substituted.

Whenever possible, children should be encouraged to play along on their own kazoo.

"Concerto for Kazoo and Famous Cellist" copyright 1989, Justin Locke. Compete score and parts available from JLP.

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