Join Us

How much experience do I need?

The Altnagelvin Hospital Choir performs small and large scale works from a classical and modern repertoire, so experience with singing, reading and learning music is highly desirable.  Have a read through some of our recently performed repertoire to get an idea.

The definition of ‘reading music’ is pretty wide, though and our members range from those can sing from a first sight-read and have a deep understanding of musical notation, to the greater number of us who can read musical notation but rely on rehearsal and hearing recordings to learn pieces. 

Where possible, we do seek out, and encourage you to do your own seeking, of rehearsal and note-learning aids. We’ll share them in our Member’s Section of this site. Please email or use the Contact Us form if you need the password…

Do I have to work in the Hospital to join the choir?

Not at all! You don’t have to be a current or former staff member of the the Western Health & Social Care Trust or even a relative or friend of one, to join our choir. We will be very happy to welcome you in.

We do ask that you have some experience of singing and reading music. We will ask you for a brief summary of your experience in terms of previous choir membership and your links to the Trust in a short membership application form. 

If you don’t know, or are not sure of, your voice range (Soprano, Alto, Tenor, Bass), then we can arrange a short session with the Musical Director to work this out and get to know you.

How do I join?

You can join us by

  1. contacting a current member;
  2. email us using this address:;
  3. use Contact Us button on this site or our Facebook Page

When and where do you rehearse?

We rehearse on Thursday nights from 8-10pm and the MDEC (Medical & Dental Education Centre) / Trust Headquarters building at Altnagelvin Hospital. This is building 13 on the map below.

If you drive in via the Glenshane Road entrance, drive straight through the small roundabout and turn left after the multi-story pay car park.  The MDEC will be straight in front of you. 

If you drive in via the Crescent Link Road, take the first right and then the first right again.  The MDEC is right in front of you.

Our rehearsal location has to change from MDEC for early 2020 as they started refurbishment of the MDEC Building lecture theatres earlier than expected. We will now rehearse at the CEC Building (‘Clinical Education Centre’) beside it.

The CEC is Building number 16 on the map below. If you park as usual in front or opposite the MDEC, walk over towards MDEC entrance and turn left, away from the entrance and alongside the building and small car park, then turn right, you will be looking at the CEC. It is a 1-story building in front of you to the left. You will have to walk along the path to a ramp to get to the entrance (the ramp faces away from you) and in the door at the top.

You can park just in front of the entrance or in Car Park 6, just past the MDEC building.  Parking is always available at rehearsal times.

First rehearsal attendance

Please find the member you know who can bring you to the Musical Director, Dr Derek Collins and Chairman, Dr Neil Black. Alternatively, we are both easy to find at rehearsals – just ask someone!

Rehearsals begin at 8pm, but we stop for tea / coffee at 9pm and finish at 10pm.  Please be ready to sing at 8pm. We run a voluntary rota for 2 people to set this up each week, bringing some milk and snacks and ask for members to give £1 towards the choir costs each week at tea.  Don’t worry, as when you first volunteer, someone who has already done it will be with you. The break for tea is a lovely opportunity for choir members to introduce themselves and get to know you.  It is a short break that we cherish as a social aspect of our weekly rehearsals.


Rehearsals – relaxed, whatever you wish within the realms of common decency ;-)!

Main Concert Performances – Ladies black on black with black tights (skirts/trousers with blouses or dresses are up to you); Men black dinner jacket, black trousers, black bow tie and white shirt. See below!

Church Services / ICU Memorial / Carol Service – ‘Sunday Best’ including tie for men.

Carols around the wards – relaxed, Christmas jumpers, tinsel earnings, reindeer headband thingys and elf hats at liberty!

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