The piece, which also featured a cameo appearance by Crewe’s White Watch and the Cheshire Fire Choir, was the third collaboration between the orchestra and Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service.
‘Fatal Distraction’ was all about educating young drivers about the dangers that exist on our roads. The project involved four groups from Warrington Collegiate, Riverside College, UCE Academy and South Cheshire College working with a Camerata composer, dramatist and musicians to write a piece, which explored the causes and consequences of road traffic collisions.
Deputy Chief Fire Officer, Mark Cashin said: “The event was a great success and it was wonderful to see how the young people had worked so hard to create a brilliant performance and a truly special event. It has been a real privilege to once again work in partnership with Manchester Camerata to create yet another impressive performance. It is a terribly stark statistic that the single biggest cause of accidental deaths in young people remains the road traffic accident. A major contributor to this is people being distracted at the wheel. All the young people involved in the piece were at that age where they had either just passed their driving test or are taking lessons. Therefore, we really hope that the messages they have explored in the creation of the piece stay with them and ultimately keep them and their friends safe.”
In addition to Crewe White Watch, firefighters from Warrington, Widnes and Chester also gave presentations on road safety to the students to help inform the piece they created.
Projects such as ‘Fatal Distraction’ are all about education and enabling the Service to promote safety in an innovative way and, by doing so, have a positive impact on the Service’s aim of a Cheshire where there are no deaths, injuries or damage from fires and other emergencies.
Funding for this project was provided by Cheshire Fire Authority, the Philip Barker Charity and Arts Council England.
Sir Edmund Burton of the Philip Barker Charity said: “On behalf of the Philip Barker Trustees I would like to congratulate Manchester Camerata, Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service and the colleges for their commitment to this inspiring partnership. These innovative projects encourage joint planning and a high degree of co-operation between all the partners. The creative and enthusiastic style of working of the Camerata team provided a unique and compelling educational experience for the participants and an enduring message for their appreciative audience."
Nick Ponsillo, Head of Camerata in the Community said:
“The students pulled no punches in their approach to this subject. It was a powerful and emotional piece that brought the realities of road traffic collisions to the forefront of the lives of the students, professionals and audience alike. The partnership with Cheshire Fire and Rescue brings an innovative approach to conveying serious safety issues and enables people of all ages to creatively collaborate in ways that actively challenge attitudes and, in this case, support people to keep safe on the roads.”