Berklee Really Eclectic Orchestra (BREO)

Free from music stands and a traditional repertoire, the Berklee Really Eclectic Orchestra (BREO) is a high school ensemble for string players who long for a place to learn to improvise and play popular music together. Created during Berklee's Five-Week summer program and dubbed the Five-Week String Orchestra, BREO has now expanded to include year-round rehearsals and performances. The ensemble is presented by the Professional Performance Division, in partnership with Berklee City Music®.

Develop your ear, play popular music, and learn to improvise with your friends. Enjoy two hours of jamming with other string players, facilitated by Mimi Rabson, a Berklee associate professor, and violinist. No previous experience in improvisation is necessary. During BREO jam sessions, you will:

  • play contemporary music (chosen by you and your fellow students);
  • learn all music by ear and receive instruction in improvisation;
  • explore real-time strategies for arranging and composing; and
  • jam with fellow string players interested in playing popular music.

This event is open to high school string players in the Greater Boston area. RSVP for a jam by sending an email to performancedivision@berklee.edu with the subject line "RSVP for BREO Jam." Contact us at 617-747-6276 or email performancedivision@berklee.edu for more information.

During the spring and fall, this is a weekly event occurring on Fridays from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Fall 2021 and Spring 2022 Schedule

Regretfully, BREO is cancelled for the fall 2021 and spring 2022 semesters due to the pandemic. Please check this site later in 2022 for information on BREO in the fall 2022 semester. Please email mrabson@berklee.edu with any questions. 

Check out BREO in the press and a 2021 interview with BREO's founder, learn about the BREO's virtual ensemble performance, and watch a video featuring former BREO students in action: