COGE : 25 years of music...

For more than 20 years, the COGE has been echoing with emotions shared by 3,000 students recruited among the best and top french engineering and business schools ("Grandes Ecoles") and universities, an audience of 90,000 persons among 140 concerts, a musical work with 8 conductors and 17 choir masters, performances with 100 professional and acclaimed soloists.

To learn more about what made us what we are, consult our history...

1982-1985 : COGE is born...

In 1982, Polytechnique and HEC choirs gather while an orchestra composed of students appears. COGE is fast joined by students from Sciences Po, ESSEC and other "Grandes Ecoles" and universities, opening the COGE to the entire student population.

COGE's Grande Formation performing «les Danses Polovtsiennes» by Alexander Borodine, 26<sup>th</sup> of May 2000 in Salle-Pleyel (Paris 8e).
COGE's "Grande Formation" performing « les Danses Polovtsiennes » by Alexander Borodine, 26th of May 2000 in "Salle Pleyel".

COGE gives its first concert in "Salle Pleyel" the 29th of May 1984. Our values are spreading among COGE's members: students sharing the passion of music, concerts in "Grandes Ecoles" and Universities to bring classical music and students together, musical work aiming the greatest quality in a professional frame, warm atmosphere. From 2nd season (1984-1985), two programs are given, the second leading to a concert in "Salle Pleyel" and concerts in province. First city visited by the COGE will be Strasbourg.

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1985-1988 : Many concerts in Paris and other French cities...

From the third season, the COGE gives two concerts a year in "Salle Pleyel", where students from all over the "Grandes Ecoles" meet to listen to their fellows singing or playing. The COGE has performed in many cities such as Metz, Rouen, Bordeaux, Dijon, Nantes, Lyon.

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1988-1992 : A new music group, first concert abroad

In 1988, a new music group is born: "La Petite Formation" (the little formation). Created by motivated and skilled musicians of the symphonic group, whose desire was to practice music in a smaller and more intimate frame. It performed one program per season, pieces with reduced number of musicians.

The COGE performed its first concert abroad in 1989. From 1988 to 1992, the COGE has visited Leiden, Stuttgart, Brussels as well as Lille, Caen, Nancy, Toulouse and Reims.

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1992-1996 : Symphonic concerts and contemporary music...

A new formula appears for the "Grande Formation": from now on it will perform a first exclusively symphonic program while choir and orchestra gathered will work on ambitious pieces for traditional concerts in "Salle Pleyel". The COGE has been visiting big cities in France and Europe: Geneva, Brussels, Grenoble, Strasbourg, Belfort, Chartres, Poitiers, La Rochelle and Lille.

During these years, prestigious singers (David Grimal and Marc Coppey) has performed with the COGE and famous actor Michael Lonsdale has assumed the talking role of Kaddish Symphony performed as a french creation in June 1995 in "Salle Pleyel".

This desire to program contemporary music has been showed in creation by the COGE of an original composition contest in 1994. French creation in June 1996 CoronationOde by Elgar has been supported by French Ministry of Culture, British Council and French embassy in Belgium, who gave us their "Haut-Patronage" (support).

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1996-2003 : Many events supported by prestigious institutions...

In 1996, choir and orchestra of the Grande Formation performed two programs a year. Fribourg, Chartres, Vanne, Belfort, Lyon, La Baule, Nantes has been visited by the COGE between 1996 and 2002.

In 1997, French Ministry of Culture and German embassy in France gave their "Haut-Patronage" (support) for the Second Symphony and German Requiem by Brahms, commemorating the composer's death.

COGE's Grande Formation performing Requiem by Dvorak, 9<sup>th</sup> of March 1999 in Notre-Dame de Paris Cathedral.
COGE's "Grande Formation" performing Requiem by Dvorak, 9th of March 1999 in "Notre-Dame de Paris" Cathedral.

On the 9th of March 1999, a great COGE concert is performed in "Notre-Dame de Paris" Cathedral for the charity association ENVOL. This concert is placed under "Haut-Patronage" of Czech Republic embassy in France.

In May 2002, the first performance of Concerto for Horn and Orchestra by Serbian composer Ivan Jevtic is given by the COGE. This creation represented a chance for our young musicians to see contemporary music and constituted an outstanding event of musical scene, with the participation of young horn player Mirjam Werner

From the 2000-2001 season, celebrating the 20th anniversary of the COGE, the French president and Culture Ministry gave us their "Haut-Patronage".

After many television shows on France 2 and Mezzo, COGE records in 1998 its program in studio 104 of "Maison de Radio France" for the show « A vous de jouer" (FranceMusiques). "Radio Classique" recorded in 2002 the "Grande Formation's" second program. At last, a radio show devoted to the COGE was aired on May 2002, on french public radio "France Musiques".

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2003 to today: Restructure & Expansion

From 21st season 2003-2004, COGE entered in a deep changing period. It is about giving each motivated student the ability to practice music in a music group that fulfills his attends. To stress on the diversity that it proposes to each student, the COGE becomes plural: "Choeurs et Orchestres des Grandes Ecoles".

"Grande Formation" became the "Formation symphonique" the symphonic group and remains open to everyone, while the "Petite Formation" became the "Formation de chambre" the chamber group, and is deeply restructured.

After 17 seasons of existence, where the "Petite Formation" has been giving only one program per season, two different programs are now performed in the 20st season 2003-2004. From this season, musicians are recruited on audition.

In 2004, a new ensemble appeared: A vocal Ensemble of 16 singers hired on audition. They prepare a program per season exclusively constituted of a capella pieces.

COGE performs in new prestigious places (Salle Cortot, Auditorium des Halles,Auditorium Saint-Germain-des-Pres...) while a tour in Brussels is organised in June 2004, with the comeback of tours abroad, once suspended because of insufficient funds.

COGE remains faithful to its student tradition by giving concerts in "Grandes Ecoles" (Polytechnique, HEC) and Universities to bring classical music and students together.

COGE's Chamber Formation performing Ode to the Joy by Beethoven, 2<sup>nd</sup> of May 2005 in the Palais-Royal (Paris 1er).
COGE's Chamber Formation performing Ode to the Joy by Beethoven, 2nd of May 2005 in the "Palais Royal".

Invited by Minister of Culture, the choir and orchestra of the COGE's Chamber Formation had the great privilege to perform Ode to the Joy by Beethoven during the night of 2nd of May 2005 in the "Court d'Honneur du Palais Royal". This concert concluded festivities organised for the « Rencontres pour l'Europe de la culture » gathering most Culture ministers from 25 countries of Europe, president of European Council Jean-Claude Juncker, prime minister and finance minister of Luxembourg, Jose Manuel Barroso, president of European Commission and 500 cultural celebrities from Europe (Barbara Hendricks, Teresa Berganza, Umberto Ecco, Jeanne Moreau, Peter Sloterdijk, Marc Fumaroli, Jacqueline de Romilly, etc...). The performance of Ode to the Joy led to a lights show with tone intervention in twenty European languages and images viewed on the "Conseil d'Etat" building, gathering drawings, flags, pieces, sayings chosen by artists and creators from all across Europe.

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