Publication Date



Open access

Embargo Period


Degree Type

Doctoral Essay

Degree Name

Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA)


Vocal Performance (Music)

Date of Defense


First Committee Member

Corin Overland

Second Committee Member

Karen Kennedy

Third Committee Member

Coreen Duffy

Fourth Committee Member

Carlos Abril


Maestra Digna Guerra is a significant figure in Cuban choral music. She has led the Coro Nacional de Cuba, one of the country’s most prominent choral institutions, for more than 40 years. A founding member of the university-level Instituto Superior de Música (ISA), she served as the head of the choral conducting department at both the ISA and the Escuela Nacional de Arte (ENA) and trained many of the next generation of choral scholars and educators. Under her direction, the Coro Nacional de Cuba has grown to include two chamber choirs, Coro Entrevoces and D’Profundis, as well as the children’s choir Coro Nacional Infantil. Guerra has also led the Coro de la Radio y la Televisión, the choir of the Opera Nacional de Cuba, and served as assistant conductor of the Orquesta Sinfónica de Cuba, in addition to being a highly-sought international clinician and adjudicator. Guerra’s work with the cantorías, a community music project for underprivileged children, has provided music education for hundreds of Cuban young people. This paper examines Maestra Guerra’s career, including national music and government positions as well as international engagements, with overviews of the Cuban music education system in the post-Cuban Revolution era, the Cuban professional choral system, the structure and activities of the Coro Nacional de Cuba, and the development of choral music in Cuba since the Cuban Revolution.


Digna Guerra; Cuba; Choral; Choir; Music; Coro