Penn State Greater Allegheny to host Beethoven in the Face of Adversity Show

MCKEESPORT, Pa.  – Monique Mead, assistant teaching professor and director of music entrepreneurship in the School of Music at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) will bring her Beethoven in the Face of Adversity performance to Penn State Greater Allegheny on Wednesday, Oct. 9.  

Mead will perform Beethoven’s Violin Concerto at 12:15 p.m. in the Ostermayer Room of the Student Community Center. Accompanying Mead will be her 14-year-old son, Tino Cardenes on the piano, and CMU masters cello student, Gabriel Hightower.  

In his life, Ludwig Van Beethoven faced adversity yet persevered to create musical pieces performed for audiences around the world to this day.  Mead’s vision to bring Beethoven’s work to others in a close personal setting is her way of lifting the spirits of those facing challenges. 

“This project is about the indomitable human spirit that allowed Beethoven to triumph over deafness”, said Mead. “It allows people today to overcome their adversities and move forward as stronger individuals.”

Penn State Greater Allegheny Chancellor and Chief Academic Officer Jacqueline Edmondson applied to host a performance after learning of it from Alandra Kahl, associate teaching professor of environmental engineering.  

“I heard about the program on WQED 89.3 when the performer (Mead) was on air,” said Kahl.  “I thought it would be a wonderful fit for our campus.  Our students come to us with all kinds of experiences related to hardship and adversity. Music is a way to process and express what you feel.”  

Edmondson agreed with Kahl and recognized how powerful the performance would be not only for the Greater Allegheny campus, but the broader community as well. “There is a great deal of trauma and pain due to gun violence, the opioid epidemic, and poverty,” stated Edmondson in the tour application. “This performance would contribute to hope in our region as we connect to Beethoven’s story and music.”    

When Mead performs at Greater Allegheny, it will be the 42nd stop on her tour. Previous stops have included people’s homes, sites in Germany, the Carnegie Main Library where she played for Congolese refugees, and the Hillman Cancer Center. She will also play at the Tree of Life, one-year commemoration. Her 50th performance will occur with the Edgewood Symphony on Beethoven’s birthday, Dec. 16.  

The performance at Greater Allegheny is free and open to the public. Parking is available in the Red Lot, adjacent to the Student Community Center. To view the campus map, visit

For more information on Mead’s appearance and performance at Penn State Greater Allegheny, contact Victoria Garwood at [email protected] or 412-675-9043. To learn more about Mead’s project, visit