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The Epic Journey of a Traveling Musician in the Middle Ages
A Collaboration with The Newberry Consort

Thursday, February 29, 7:00 pm 
St. Paul's Episcopal Church
2747 Fairmount Blvd, Cleveland Heights

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March 1-3 performances in Chicago

During the fourteenth century, or the Trecento, Florence was just beginning its rise to prominence politically and financially, with this rise fueling artistic pursuits in poetry, sculpture, architecture, and music. This program sets some of our favorite Trecento polyphonic works against the monophonic lauda, a sacred Italian offshoot of the troubadour tradition, as well as instrumental dance songs collected from the period. These genres all intersected in the city of Florence, home to many of the century’s leading composers as well as numerous laudesi companies. Within a framework of the seasons, drawing on the music’s many references to themes of nature, love, birth, death, and rebirth, this program provides a glimpse into everyday Florentine lives - the mundane, the passionate and the sublime - through music that speaks to the universal human experience. 

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I Sing A New Song February 29

with The Newberry Consort

Godi, Firençe April 26-28


Friday, April 26, 7 pm | St. Paul's Episcopal Church, 2747 Fairmount Blvd, Cleveland Heights

Saturday, April 27, 7 pm | Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, 6928 Detroit Ave, Cleveland

Sunday, April 28, 3 pm | Saint Anselm Church, 12969 Chillicothe Road, Chesterland

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Trobár presents a program of music that would have been performed by musicians who undertook the perilous journeys to Europe’s famous menestrel schools in the Middle Ages. The word menestrel, literally “minstrel,” refers to the secular musicians who were active in Europe between 1250 and 1500. I Sing a New Song tells the story of a menestrel and her companions as they journey from Paris to a menestrel school in Brussels. These schools were international conventions where musicians gathered to buy instruments, network, compete for prizes, and learn new songs to take back to their home cities. France, Germany, and the Low Countries were popular locations for menestrel schools, though participating musicians came from around Europe, sometimes traveling hundreds of miles through challenging territory.

For this program, we are pleased to collaborate with Chicago-based early-music ensemble Newberry Consort. Two shawms, organetto, and a medieval slide trumpet join the cast for rollicking dances and ornamented song melodies. While most of the music at menestrel schools was learned by ear, some of it was later compiled into collections by Liebhard Eghenvelder, Judocus de Windsheim (the Lochamer Liederbuch), and other scribes. French musicians were also particularly well-represented, and the program will include music by composers such as Guillaume de Machaut and Pierre des Molins. The music will be brought to life with vivid art and text curated by musicologist and graphic designer Shawn Keener.

Trobár's 2023-24 Season

Allison Monroe, Artistic Director

Vielle & Rebec

Liza Malamut, Artistic Director

Medieval Slide Trumpet

Elena Mullins Bailey


Karin Weston


Gabriel Smallwood


Debra Nagy

Medieval Winds

Priscilla Herreid

Medieval Winds

Shawn Keener

Projection Design

I Sing A New Song Artists:

Allison Monroe, Artistic Director

Medieval Strings

Elena Mullins Bailey


Allen Otte


Sian Ricketts

Soprano, Medieval Winds

Nathan Dougherty


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