Fife music groups rally for concert to honour Monica

Adam Smith Theatre -   Cathy Endecott from Music in Kirkcaldy, Monica Holland, Christine Ramage of Kirkcaldy Choral Union  and Fiona Brodie, former KAOS president . Pic by Fife Photo Agency
Adam Smith Theatre - Cathy Endecott from Music in Kirkcaldy, Monica Holland, Christine Ramage of Kirkcaldy Choral Union and Fiona Brodie, former KAOS president . Pic by Fife Photo Agency

Dozens of singers and musicians from around Fife are coming together for a special concert this month to honour a Kirkcaldy woman who has brought the joy of drama and music to hundreds of children and adults.

Retired drama and special needs education teacher Monica Holland (58) was diagnosed with inoperable pancreatic cancer at the beginning of the year.

She has been a stalwart of Kirkcaldy Youth Music Theatre which she was a member of when it was Kirkcaldy Light Opera Group at the town’s YWCA.

Monica was also a member of Kirkcaldy Amateur Dramatic Society (KADS); Kirkcaldy Amateur Operatic Society (KAOS) of which she is a lifetime honorary member and Fife Opera.

She also helped set up Kids on Stage – a summer school drama group which has run for over 20 years at the Adam Smith Theatre – with Louisa Bell and Susan Meiklejohn.

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And it is the special bond she created with many people through drama which prompted Music In Kirkcaldy, a group set up around four years ago to bring together Kirkcaldy’s musical groups in a big annual charity event, to organise ‘Fighting Cancer with Music’ in the Adam Smith Theatre on Sunday, May 26, in aid of Pancreatic Cancer UK.

The charity helps to fund research into the disease which can be very difficult to diagnose.

Cathy Endeacott, president of Kirkcaldy Amateur Operatic Society and a member of Music in Kirkcaldy, is a long-time friend of Monica’s.

“We’ve known each other since we were students at college when we worked as cleaners at the Victoria Hospital,” she explained.

“It was Monica who got me involved in KAOS over 40 years ago.

“She is a remarkable woman and when we heard about her diagnosis we wanted to recognise all the work she has done for many young people and for amateur theatre in Kirkcaldy.

“The best way we could think of was a concert involving many of the groups she has been involved in over the years.”

Monica said she was “humbled” when she was told that the group wanted to hold the concert.

And she said she hoped it would help raise awareness of pancreatic cancer and encourage doctors to send patients for early screening.

“My illness was initially blamed on an overactive thyroid and it wasn’t until I went for a kidney scan and asked them to look at my stomach that they found lesions on my liver where it had spread,” she explained.

“I’m very grateful to have so many great friends that I’ve made through drama and music.”

Tickets priced £10 are available from the theatre.