Trobár is a small band of voices and instruments dedicated to bringing medieval music to modern audiences. The word trobar comes from Occitan, the language spoken in the middle ages in what is now southern France, and encompasses numerous meanings: to find, to meet, to create, to compose, to invent. This word encapsulates the spirit of discovery and invention that we bring to musical texts of the middle ages.
The three members of Trobár – Allison Monroe (voice, vielle, rebec, harp), Elena Mullins (voice, percussion), and Karin Weston (voice, harp) – met while studying historical performance practice at Case Western Reserve University, where we looked at medieval music as both performers and scholars. Members also attended the 2015 Early Music Vancouver Festival's Medieval Programme and the 2nd International Study Week of Trecento Music in 2017 led by the members of Tetraktys. In preparing our programs, we approach the music from multiple perspectives – we study the original manuscripts, read musical treatises, and explore the broader historical context surrounding the music. Trobár has a regular season in Cleveland, but has also performed as part of the Boston Early Music Festival Fringe, been in residence at Avaloch Farm Music Institute and the University of Louisville, and presented concerts on the Gotham Early Music Scene concert series in New York and the Catacoustic Consort series in Cincinnati.