Three Choirs and Two Orchestras in Paris

Since its creation in 1983, the COGE hasn't stopped growing... A Chamber Group, deeply restructured during the 2003/2004 season, appeared in 1989 and a Vocal Ensemble in 2004. Today, the COGE is composed of 2 orchestras and 3 choirs, different and complementary, aiming to the same goal: allowing each student and each musician to enjoy the pleasure of the practice of music...

One association

The COGE is the only student association that contains so many independent groups. The Symphonic Group and the Chamber Group have their own orchestra and their own choir. Each program is different. At last, if some members are in both groups, most of them choose to join only one group. The COGE has 2 orchestras, 3 choirs, who have their own demanding, spirit, ambiance, tradition... which is an important strength.

Even though that strength may turn against our association (concurrence risks, especially during the recruiting period can lead to an effective loss from a group to the other), the COGE has steadily managed to offer a rich musical repertory and to develop differences, specificities for each of its 5 ensembles, by choosing different programs, ways of recruiting, and musical work.

At last, having 5 complementary musical groups creates a real mobility inside the heart of the association: it allows each member to move from a group to another one to find the best place. Evolving musical expectations and taking part of a group responding one's attends.

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The Chamber Group (choir & orchestra)

The Chamber Group appeared in 1988 from the desire of a motivated and skilled group of musicians of the symphonic group (counting 90 musicians and more than 200 singers) to practice music in a smaller and more intimate frame. Today, this group counts 40 musicians and 60 singers.

It was deeply changed during the 21st Season 2003/2004. The main goal was then to promote real differences compared to The Symphonic Group, in order to propose a group for confirmed and motivated musicians. Auditions have been set up for every musician that wanted to join the Chamber choir or orchestra

From the past, the Chamber orchestra season consisted in a single program, it became richer and a lot more interesting during the 21st season 2003/2004, since 3 programs were performed during the year. The following year, the first program was given in December, the second in march and the last in June.

This artistic journey gives us the opportunity to explore delicate musical masterpieces and focus on pieces rarely visited by amateur groups. Our recent musical programs counts pieces like "les Danses de Galanta" by Kodaly and "l'Amour sorcier"by De Falla, 2 notorious pieces from the 20st century, well-known for their technical difficulty. In June 2004, the Chamber group gives 2 concerts (whose benefits were entirely transfered to charitable organisations) the Messa di Gloria by Rossini, a rarely performed piece. At last, during its 22nd season, placed under the Europe flag, it explores joyful European music with "laChauve-souris" by Johann Strauss son and and gives a brilliant interpretation of the 9th Symphony of Beethoven.

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The Symphonic Group

For more than 6 seasons, The Symphonic Group has been the one and only COGE group. Created in 1982 from the gathering of Ecole Polytechnique and HEC choirs (the two french top engineer and business schools ∼ "Grandes Ecoles") amidst the core of french elite training, it is soon joined by an orchestra, mostly composed of students. Over the years, it became open to all "Grandes Ecoles" and universities's students and its members went growing and growing each year, which made it count some 220 singers and 100 musicians!

The main goal of this group has always been to give each student the possibility to sing or play music under the direction of professional conductors, with the ultimate goal of performing concert of great quality in prestigious places, in Paris and abroad. Joining the Symphonic Group has always been made simple and does not require a former intensive musical training, but relies on enthusiasm, a solid musical background for musicians and a lot of motivation!The Symphonic Group has been taking part in special ambitious projects: it performed its first concert the 29th of May 1984 in the prestigious parisian concert hall "la Salle Pleyel" with "la Messe de Saint Nicolas" by Haydn.

From the 2nd season in 1984/1985, it started performing two different programs each season such as The German Requiem by Brahms, Requiem by Verdi, Elias by Mendelssohn, in "la Salle Pleyel", in other french cities and in Europe.

From 1992 to 1996, the first program is dedicated to symphonic music while the second program consists in 2 Pleyel concerts and abroad tours. In 1994, the Third Symphony also known as "Kaddish" by Bernstein has been given.

From the 1996/1997 season, program structure becomes steady: choir and orchestra give concerts in January and June. The Symphonic Group has performed a wide array of different pieces such as : The Creation by Haydn, the Requiem by Dvorak, the Symphony n°7 by Beethoven, Alexander Nevski by Prokofiev, Romeo and Juliette by Prokofiev and by Tchaikovski as well, and The Polovtsian danses by Borodine.

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The vocal Ensemble

For the second year in a row, the COGE has assembled a third choral group: Ensemble Vocal. Comprising 17 experienced singers, this group is most interested in a capella choral repertoire and particularly the extensive canon of baroque and ancient music. Last year's programme, "Europa Cantat" proposed a journey through time with celebrated motets such as Johann Sebastian Bach's Jesu, meine Freude and Henry Purcell's Hear My prayer as well as works that are less renowned and seldom performed in concert such as Domenico Scarlatti's Missa quatuor vocum and the Portuguese composer, Joao IV's Crux fidelis.

This year, the Ensemble Vocal will present two programmes. First, in keeping with its focus on a capella repertoire, it will be performing French music from the 1930s, specifically Francis Poulenc's Sept Chansons. Secondly, it will be extending its repertoire with the addition of Purcell's opera, Dido and Aeneas. Directed by Silvio Segantini, the Ensemble Vocal is made up of 17 seasoned singers. Indeed, some have had advanced training in music while others are enrolled at various conservatories. Virtually all of them pursue technical training in vocal performance and are thoroughly trained musicians.

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