Tradition of choral groups remains in force in the Dominican Republic

Over the years, Dominican choral groups have become a benchmark for spirituality and social unification.

Despite the fact that since their inception they have had hidden presentations, and many of them have taken refuge in the religious community as a symbol of raising their prayers through unanimous voices, the choirs remain valid on stage.

Their work is mostly of a community nature, dissemination in their company, whether governmental, civil or private, with a limited scope due to the little support they receive to be able to promote their groups.

Among the best known are the National Choir of the Republic, the Choir of the Autonomous University of Santo Domingo, the Choir of the Cathedral of the Primate of America, the Evangelical Harp Choir, the Dominican American Choir and the most recent to form, the National Choir of Dominican Children.

Society sees choirs as letters of introduction to an institution, rather than as an instrument of social unification.

“If we were to measure or seek the benefit of choral music, we should look for the effects of social unity that it provokes, community development, living in peace, recognizing the value of the other, and contributing talent jointly with the only benefit of the satisfaction of having done the best possible, receiving applause as a response”, stated Ángel Herdz, choral director.

On the other hand, Luis Antonio De la Cruz (Richard), one of the directors of the Arpa Choral Group, said that the grace of music lies in the transformation of the singer, by becoming a more upright and less aggressive being, in addition, of a better citizen.

“Those who sing in choirs are the ones who commit the least crimes. Choral music sensitizes the human, makes it simple and takes out the spiritual from it”, she commented.

For Viterbo Peña, director of the Dominican-American Mixed Choir, one of the fundamental values ​​of choral singing is its inclusive capacity.

“The fact of singing in a choral group inherently develops an inclusive educational model, as the teacher affirms, music is an irreplaceable instrument to unite people,” added Peña.

In addition to that, he highlighted that spirituality and well-being in relation to the experience of making music: transcendence, connection and the flow of emotions and feelings in unison.

“We have the disciplinary benefits, we learn to respect time, obligations and the rights of others,” he said.

Andrés Capellán, director of the Cathedral choir, indicated that despite the fact that the work he directs is of a religious nature, its objective is to remove many young people from the streets, who are idle and through music and singing, they make them interested in doing something and feel useful and necessary.


The choir of this Alma Mater is one of the oldest. Founded by Professor Luis Frías Sandoval in 1949, responding to the need for a choir that would interpret the national and university anthem in academic acts and university investitures.

With almost 73 years of history, it is made up of 86 voices, and it increases by admitting new voices during auditions that can reach around 100 singers.

The students, interpreters of the UASD choir, enjoy the benefit of exemption from registration, facilities for the selection of subjects and a small amount for compensation for expenses incurred for their duties.

In the case of the director, he is subject to a salary and has the status of extension professor.

This group performs in popular concerts in neighborhoods of Santo Domingo, as well as in parks, cultural clubs, prisons, hospitals, professional congresses and in all the towns of the national geography.

Presentations are made in ordinary and postgraduate investitures at the university, in addition to the spring concert in April, the summer concert in July and the anniversary concert in October.

National Choir of the Republic

The National Choir was founded on March 1, 1955 as a dependency of the General Directorate of Fine Arts.

This group fulfills “the function of disseminating and promoting choral singing in all its diversity, both from the repertoire of national composers and arrangers and from the great masters of universal choral literature.”

Cathedral Choir

The First Cathedral Choir of America emerged in 1989 at the request of Cardinal Nicolás López Rodríguez to Professor José Delmonte Peguero, who, with a group of singers from the House Choir of Spain, went to form what is now the Cathedral Choir.

It is integrated with a number of about 83 official singers, and most of its activities are carried out in the Cathedral itself.

Every year the choir offers two concerts, Christmas and Easter. And economically it is maintained with the support of the State, which sponsors a contribution for the transportation of the singers.

Evangelical Harp Choir

The Evangelical Harp Choral Group will celebrate its 54th anniversary this August 30. It was founded under the idea of ​​the musical teacher Rafael Grullón to fill a space of lack of choirs in the Evangelical churches.

It is composed of voices and musical accompaniment from different Christian congregations, being the first multi-denominational musical entity in the country.

This choir has 38 singers, four musicians and two directors on its payroll.

This musical organization performs wherever they are invited, usually in churches, but also in prisons, nursing homes, orphanages, theaters, universities, national and international choir festivals.

Abroad they have had a presence in Canada, the United States, Guatemala, Haiti and Puerto Rico.

This group is financially supported by the contribution made by each member as monthly voluntary fees to cover expenses, without the help of any institution.

Dominican American Choir

The Dominican-American Mixed Choir was founded in April 1989. It is one of the Cultural Programs developed by the Dominican-American Cultural Institute, through the Cultural Department.

Its first director was Excier Rodríguez and since 1993 it has been under the baton of Professor Viterbo Peña.

The group has 55 members, although only 30 people participate in the presentations, who are in constant preparation.

Presentations are held at any time of the year that is required.

Viterbo Peña said that more than 30 years of existence have developed an immense work in the Dominican Choral field, maintaining validity through relevant participation in national and international choral festivals, interuniversity festivals and presentations in institutions related to the Institute.

Internationally, the Mixed Choir was invited to the Island of Curaçao to celebrate the JANWE mass (October 2002), in 2008 they participated in the International Choir Festival of the Curaçao Choral Federation.

For the year 2010 they represented the Dominican Republic at the VIII Sacred Music Festival in Pamplona, ​​Colombia.

This group covers their needs for music, uniforms, transportation and international travel with the support of the Institute.

National Children’s Choir

The National Children’s Choir, is the most recent of the choral groups, was founded in 2018, under the direction of maestro Ángel Herdz.

Currently, it has 42 members from the great Santo Domingo, between the ages of 9 and 11.

This group was born as a dependency of the Canta y Toca Coral Program, formed by the Ministry of Culture in 2016.

In the economic sphere, according to Herdz, the group exists thanks to the parents, who support their children.

This week, the National Children’s Choir will represent the Dominican Republic for the second time at the United Voices International Festival in Bogotá, Colombia, informed Ángel Herdz.

For a week, the children’s group will perform in seven locations in the South American nation. According to Herdz, this year 20 children accompanied by their parents will travel, and only those who can afford the trip and stay will participate.

“In 2019 we were invited to the festival and we created a great sensation, that’s why the invitation was repeated,” he said.

“It is a great cultural push. It’s unbelievable”, says Herdz excitedly, evoking memories about the motivation of the children who traveled for the first time to perform on a foreign stage.

The group is trained to sing a repertoire of more than 30 songs by the great masters, including songs in French, Italian, German and Portuguese.

Tradition of choral groups remains in force in the Dominican Republic