Angela Macdonald

25th January 2013 at 00:00
A young music teacher who was immensely talented and determined to help her pupils achieve their potential

Fife music teacher Angela Macdonald died earlier this month at the age of 31 after a long and dignified battle with cancer.

A former pupil of Bell Baxter High in Cupar, Angela did her probation year at Beath High in Cowdenbeath before securing a post at Bell Baxter. Last year she moved to Glenwood High in Glenrothes but illness meant she was absent for much of that time.

Her family association with Bell Baxter High was a strong one - her father, Bill Macdonald, recently retired as school chaplain, and her mother, Morag, worked in the school office. As a student, Angela also spent a summer working in the same office.

Angela was born in Paisley but moved to Cupar in 1982, aged 16 months, after her father was appointed minister of Cupar Baptist Church.

Her musical talents were evident early on in her life and she was playing the clarinet by the age of five. She was a member of Castlehill Primary orchestra, in which she played the viola, before joining the Bell Baxter wind band as well as the Fife Youth Orchestra. She had also performed at many of the concert halls across the UK, Europe and the US. But, in her father's words: "She was as comfortable playing to old folk at Bathgate Court in Cupar."

After completing an honours degree in music at what was then Napier University in Edinburgh, Angela did her postgraduate teaching qualification at Moray House School of Education at the University of Edinburgh.

Angela was an active member of Cupar Baptist Church and ran Scripture Union at Bell Baxter; she also played in two Christian orchestras, Origin and New Scottish. She was a keen photographer and enjoyed driving and water skiing.

She played a number of instruments - piano, saxophone, flute and viola - but was renowned as a solo clarinettist. As a music teacher, she was involved in numerous extra-curricular activities at Bell Baxter, including a competition run in conjunction with Waid Academy in Anstruther and Madras College in St Andrews to encourage young people to take up music. She was also a regular performer on stage in school productions.

Angela had a very strong Christian faith and gave a great deal of her time to the church and youth organisations beyond school.

She may have appeared quite quiet in her approach but she possessed a real steel and determination to achieve the very best for her pupils.

Donations totalling #163;1,400 were received for Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy in Scotland after her funeral service that was attended by more than 400 people.

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