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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. 

It is true 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. During our time together we explore and expand a repertoire of uplifting songs whilst socialising with one another 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.

What can I expect?

The benefits of being in a choir community to our social wellbeing are amazing, so we place great importance on setting time aside to meet in the cafe area of the Gateway Centre for tea/coffee and light refreshments. Our cafe time is from 10.30-11am. 

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

PAYG payment

The cost of  The York Wellbeing Choir is £6 per session PAYG.  Payments are made on arrival either by cash or contactless card machine.

Covid Safety

  • Please do not attend the choir practice if you are unwell. 
  • The room in which we meet will always be well ventilated and there is also a COmonitor in the auditorium.


The York Wellbeing Choir has opportunities to perform at various events throughout the year in the local and wider community. We often perform  help raise money for local and national charity organisations, as well as hosting ‘in house’ events for charity at our regular Friday morning choir practices e.g. MacMillan Coffee Morning & Brain Tumour Research. Performance events/venues in include: York Community Choir Festival at the Joseph Rowntree Theatre, Living North Live at York Racecourse, Singing for SASH at York Railway Station, St Helen’s Square outside the Mansion House, NHS Carol Service in York Minster, Singing to shoppers on Acomb Front Street.

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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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