About Us

Our Origins

The choir was formed in 1994 by Mrs Stella Burnside and staff at the Altnagelvin Hospital in Derry / Londonderry.  We began as a purely work-based choir with the purpose of providing a musical experience and outlet for staff. It also came together to participate in the “Hospitals Healing Arts Project”. As time went on, the choir gained as members former staff, their relatives and friends and other members of the public who shared our vision. What held the choir together was a shared belief that music, and choral singing in particular, brought hospital staff and the local community tangible benefits of well-being and cultural enhancement. Through the years, the choir has held foremost its charitable aims alongside those of well-being and sharing of musical experience.

The choir is a society which acts as a charitable body associated with the Western Health and Social Care Trust which encompasses Altnagelvin Hospital, and maintains in its activities the traditional ethics and values of the caring professions.

We were very sad to announce to our members that Mrs Stella Burnside died after a short illness on 16 July 2021.

Obituary Vice-Lord Lieutenant Stella Burnside OBE

A member of the Altnagelvin Hospital Choir pictured during their Choral Fanfare performance in St. Columb’s Cathedral, Summer 2018

Our Aims

  1. Provide facilities for recreation or other leisure time occupation, in particular the opportunity to participate in a choir and promote music, for past and present staff of Altnagelvin Hospital, Health and Social Care employees and any member of the local community who wishes to participate in the interests of social welfare and with the object of improving the conditions of life of the said participants.
  2. Promote the musical culture of the local community especially the interests of young musicians.
  3. Further such other charitable purpose under the law of Northern Ireland as the Trustees may from time to time approve and in particular to further the charitable work of the Health and Social Care Trust specifically relating to Altnagelvin Hospital.


Membership is open to all.  If you are not a current or previous member of staff at the Altnagelvin Hospital, or Western Trust and Health and Social Care Services, we ask for you to be nominated by a current choir member. Such members include relatives of present and former Trust staff and colleagues and members of the general public who support the ethos of the choir and its charitable aims.  If you don’t a current member, don’t worry; please do contact us as we are normally very happy to welcome new members anyway.  If you are interested joining us, then please do, Contact Us.

Charitable Status

The Choir registered with the Charity Commission of Northern Ireland in 2016 and has full Charitable Status.  Read more here.


Lyric FM named us Community Choir of the Year in Christmas 2001.

We were awarded the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service in 2009.

Funding and expenditure

Our main income comes from annual membership donation from members and concert ticket receipts.  From time to time, we seek additional donations from local business and other sources and have a growing Friends of Altnagelvin Hospital Choir list who contribute to fund our activities.  

We spend our income on the basic running costs of the choir, including Musical Director, Repetiteur and venue costs.  A major aim of the choir is charitable, so we donate as much as we reasonably can to charity each year.  To date, since we started in 1994, we have raised just over £30,000 for other charities.



Choir insurance is with Making Music.

%d bloggers like this: