It’s been said that necessity is the mother of invention. At Portastand, we believe that’s a pretty gentle way of putting it.

We believe that invention has a few different mothers: passion, frustration, perfection, friendship, and—above all—pure, unprocessed musician’s angst. Portastand was born from all of those, and to us, the mother of invention looks a little different. She is spunky; she knits trinkets out of solid steel; she is your sole reason for attending the annual extended family Thanksgiving party. The townspeople whisper that she might be a little bit crazy, and the townspeople are correct.

It was the late ’90s when our dear mother gifted her cloak of wisdom to Bob Evanoff, resident of Stillwater, Minnesota, dissatisfied classical guitarist, and not-yet inventor. You see, Bob had been making do with wimpy wire stands for far too long; stands that couldn’t go low enough for a seated player or high enough for a standing one; stands made of a metal so thin you could cover your leftovers with it.

Bob shook his troubled head. At nighttime, he stirred, wondering if he would ever find the perfect portable music stand—a masterful combination of durability, versatility, affordability, and sheer, powder-coated wonder.

And then, he built it himself.

First came Troubadour, an all-steel lightweight beast with no plastic parts and a full-metal tripod that would put all other portable tripods to shame. Then came Minstrel, the smaller stand that would single-handedly transcend years’ worth of musician’s heartache. Together, Troubadour and Minstrel redefined what it meant not only to own a portable music stand, but to own any music stand. Sheet music the world over quietly wept with humbled gratitude. Touring musicians and school ensembles bowed their heads in relief. Mother Invention, with her crazy eyes and weird metal scarves, clapped Bob on the back and tearfully said, “Good work, son.”

Over a decade later, the family has expanded: Universal Shelf Extensions give Troubadour and Minstrel the capacity to gently cradle all the pages you can throw at them, and Wind Resistors hold them where they belong. The Minstrel Bag carries everything you need for rehearsal (and some of the things you don’t), and the Shelf Lip Cover keeps the Troubadour’s metal desk under wraps. Our cousins at Mighty Bright®, with the Duet and Duet2 stand lights, make sure you can read your notes in even the dimmest jazz clubs and poorly lit practice rooms.

At Portastand, we swear by our quality with the kind of stubbornness that never cheaps out. We build portable music equipment out of steel and brotherhood. We aren’t done innovating, mostly because we have Mother Invention held hostage in our warehouses. And most importantly: We’re here for you, friend. Together we will hold our sad old wire stands skyward and softly whisper:

Never again.

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