Garrett Breeze

Alex Berko (Show Choir Arrangers You Should Know)

The “stirring” (New York Times), “intoxicating” (Philadelphia Inquirer), and “disarmingly beautiful” (Textura) music of American composer Alex Berko (b. 1995) is characterized by a balance of intimacy and power, a keen sense of lyricism and emotional sensitivity, and a love of narrative. Berko’s music often poses questions about our personal environments and relationships to one another, and he is interested in weaving listeners through intimate stories and perspectives with universal values.

1. Please describe your basic setup.  (Your technical setup as well as the physical space that you work in.)
I have a custom desk that my dad and I built out of a countertop. It has a sit/stand mechanism, and a pull-out drawer for my keyboard. As far as hardware, I have two 27″ Samsung monitors, a little Focusrite 2i2, Audio-Technica ATH-M50x headphones, a Neumann U-87 condenser microphone, an old 88-key Casio Privia, and I power everything with a MacBook Pro. For software, I use Logic Pro, I recently switched to Dorico, but still use Finale as well, and run many sample libraries through Logic to make demos.
2. What is your process for brainstorming or inspiration-seeking as you start a new arrangement?
I’ll usually start at the piano and play through the tune, listen to a few recordings for reference, and then make a bunch of voice memos, roughly singing through different spots of the song. I then go to paper and map out the form and make small notes about what I want to happen at specific moments.
3. What is your go-to snack and/or drink when arranging?
Cheez-Its or pretzel chips (the everything bagel flavor) with good hummus. Anything salty and crunchy…
4. What is one thing you wish you would have known when you started arranging?
It doesn’t have to be complicated to be great. Oftentimes, it’s exactly the opposite. The more direct your ideas, the better.
5. What is your favorite shortcut or time-saving trick in your notation software?
Ever since switching to Dorico, my life has changed. The “jump” bar is magical. More specifically, the “explode” feature (which also exists in Finale, but isn’t as sleek) is incredible for orchestrating chords.
6. What is a favorite arrangement of yours?
Singing Hoosiers, New York, New York!
7. How can people get ahold of you?
Through my email: or through the contact form on my website:

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Garrett Breeze


Garrett Breeze is a composer, arranger, and orchestrator whose credits include film, television, video games, Broadway stars, major classical artists, and many of the top school music programs in the U.S.