manx celtic music and dance


Founded in 2006, Bree is a youth education movement celebrating Manx music and dance. Designed for school years 6 – 13 (ages 10 – 18), Bree, which is Manx for ‘vitality’, aims to both introduce and develop Manx culture within the Island’s young musicians and dancers and ensure that it remains a living tradition. This is realised through an annual weekend of music and dance workshops held in connection with the IOM Youth Service, monthly music sessions, competing in the Manx Folk Awards, performances at community events and busking in aid of local charities. As an umbrella group which includes members from all of the Island’s secondary schools and now welcomes year 6 students from the primary schools, Bree provides opportunities for youngsters who already sing, dance or play an instrument and are interested in Manx culture to socialise, share ideas and learn from more experienced musicians.

Watch this short video about Bree

Read the Culture Vannin Child Protection Policy




The main Bree workshop weekend takes place during October/November half-term. Voluntary tutors from the Manx traditional music scene offer tuition in vocal and instrumental techniques, group playing, arranging, performance skills, song-writing and composing techniques, Manx dancing and drama. The use of Manx Gaelic is encouraged throughout. All of the students perform in a concert on the Sunday afternoon for family and friends. 

The 2024 Big Bree Workshop Weekend will take place in October in St Johns.

WATCH films from previous workshop weekends.

Occasionally, other specialist workshops are organised, with local and visiting musicians.

There is also a Bree Supergroup AKA Scran, run by tutor David Kilgallon and consisting of some of our more experienced students.

Scran are available for public performances.

For further details email Dr. Chloë Woolley or tel. 01624 694758


Throughout the rest of the year, Bree members meet one Saturday afternoon each month for an informal Manx music session at Culture Vannin in St Johns. The Bree group also performs at concerts, community events, local festivals and the group occasionally busk in aid of local charities. 

We have our own Bree Session Tune book, and we play many well-known Manx tunes:

DOWNLOAD Steady as She Goes Session sheet music or Session sheet music [whistle version]

Audio files to play along with.


Bree often busk for local charities. So far, Bree buskers have raised hundreds of pounds for Friends of Chernobyl’s Children, ACORN, Hands of Hope, BallaAfrica, the Youth Arts Centre, the Filipino Association of the Isle of Man, Mooinjer Veggey Gaelic pre-school and the One World Centre.


Bree also has its own tune-book! A handy A5 spiral bound book with mix and match pages to arrange tunes into sets.

Buy it here 


Click the image to play the video

  • A taste of the Bree Weekend 2018

  • A taste of the Bree Weekend 2023