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Wellbeing Choir

A Wellbeing Choir is like a regular choir, with a greater focus on health and wellbeing. Singing together is a fantastic way to energise and refresh yourself, to lift your spirits and enhance positive emotions. There is also a growing literature on the preventive benefits of singing and music engagement in relation to mental health. Activities such as singing and making music are all associated with stress management and prevention. Singing also has proven benefits for those with respiratory, memory and circulation problems. 

We have learnt that singing greatly improves our emotional, mental, physical, and social wellbeing, with a decrease in stress, depression, and anxiety as studies show. But these benefits are greatly enhanced in a group setting, compared to singing alone.

As long as we live, there is never enough singing.

For All Ages

The York Wellbeing Choir is for everyone. It aims to give all who participate the opportunity to experience the joy of singing and its many wonderful health benefits whilst developing musical skills. Time is spent exploring and expanding an uplifting repertoire of songs whilst socialising with others and having fun.

For All Abilities

Our fully inclusive choir sessions are friendly, relaxed, and suitable for all abilities. Our repertoire is wide and diverse but always uplifting. We enjoy singing in unison and two- and three-part harmony. There is no audition process and you do not need to be able to read music to sing with the Wellbeing Choir, as we use lyric sheets only.

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Location, day and time

The York Wellbeing Choir meets at The Gateway Centre in Acomb on Friday mornings from 10.30am – 12pm.

The Choir Practice starts at 11am until 12pm in the main auditorium of The Gateway Centre.

Wellbeing Choir members practising

What can I expect?

We place tremendous importance on the social aspect of coming together as a community, so the first 25 minutes of The York Wellbeing Choir is set aside for people to arrive and chat informally with one another in the café area of the Gateway Centre. During this time, tea, coffee, and biscuits are available.

The Choir Practice starts at 11am until 12pm in the main auditorium of The Gateway Centre.

Wellbeing Choir members relaxing cafe style

PAYG payment

The York Wellbeing Choir practices cost £5 per weekly session on a ‘pay as you go’ basis. If a participant does not attend a session, there is no fee. Cash payments are made on the day of the practice, or online via Bacs.

Wellbeing Choir members socially distanced during rehearsal

Covid Safety

  • Please do not attend the choir practice if you are experiencing symptoms of Covid-19 or have tested positive on an LFT. If whilst at the choir practice you develop symptoms of Covid-19, please return home immediately.
  • Please sanitise hands on arrival.
  • Face coverings are now optional on arrival and departure to the choir practice.
  • The room in which we meet will always be well ventilated and there is also a COmonitor in the auditorium.
  • Please be considerate of others who may choose to wear a face covering and social distance. Chairs are set out to ensure a safe distance between choir members.
Wellbeing Choir member seats set out socially distanced


As a member of the The York Wellbeing Choir, you will get the opportunity to perform at various events in the local and wider community. Performance events/venues in 2021 & 2022 include: York Community Choir Festival at the Joseph Rowntree Theatre, Living North Live at York Racecourse, NHS Carol Service in York Minster.

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What Choirs Member Say

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Our Story

Where words fail, music speaks.

The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away.

The York Wellbeing Choir was founded by York Hospital’s Arts Team in 2019, thanks to generous funding from York Teaching Hospital Charity. Its weekly practices were held in the Hospital’s Chapel up until the start of the pandemic.

Throughout the pandemic, the Wellbeing Choir continued to meet on Zoom, then outdoors before reforming in-person in September 2021 at the Gateway Centre in Acomb.

The York Wellbeing Choir now runs on a self-funding basis, led and coordinated by Nicola Betts. Nicola has a wealth of experience as a community musician, music teacher and singer and her work includes leading community choirs and community music groups which aim to nurture wellbeing, creativity, self-expression and self-confidence across all ages and abilities. 

Since September 2021, the York Wellbeing Choir has had the exciting opportunity to work closely with an amazing research team from the AudioLab based at York University to help develop and shape the best quality immersive experience for future hybrid choirs around the world. This technology for hybrid choirs will allow some of society’s most isolated people to participate in a choir and feel included in its community. As part of this research project, the Wellbeing Choir has been running as a hybrid choir. Participants both locally, nationally and even on occasion internationally, have been joining our weekly choir practices online via Zoom.

"The Lion Sleeps Tonight"

By Creatore, Peretti & Weiss

"A Little Peace"

By Meinunger & Greedus

"Love Changes Everything" - a performance

By Andrew Lloyd Webber, Hart & Black

"The Rhythm of Life"

By Coleman & Fields

"Super Trooper"

By Abba

"Love Changes Everything"

By Andrew Lloyd Webber, Hart & Black

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