THE Paralympics may have only just opened, but drummers one South Yorkshire group are already looking forward to the end.
A youth drumming group from Barnsley has been invited to perform at the London 2012 Paralympics closing ceremony, after a small role in the Olympics finale earlier this month.
The Company Performance Ensemble are one of the few youth marching bands and drum and bugle corps operating in the UK.
At the Olympics closing ceremony, drumming to David Bowie track Fashion, they escorted several top supermodels onto the stage in front of a crowd of 80,000 in the Olympic Stadium - now they are set for a bigger role at the Paralympics end.
Heather Rotchell, aged 24, from Wadsley, Sheffield, said she cannot wait for the Paralympic show.
She said: “We have a bigger role in this and now I have experienced it once before I know now just to enjoy it – the finale of the Olympic closing ceremony was a blur of people, fireworks and confetti.”
Although bound by secrecy, Craig Sherratt, company programme director, said the Paralympics closing ceremony would be a a huge spectacle, with emotional segments which will bring viewers to tears.
The 41-year-old said: “The Olympics closing ceremony was a fantastic experience, but was hard work and quite intense.”
Sheffield student Sam Manger said it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
The 21-year-old, a fourth year physics student at Sheffield University, said: “It was a million miles away from when I was in a scout band, aged eight playing small local parades – I can’t wait to take to the stage once more.”
Some 54 members will represent The Company at the ceremony on Sunday, September 9.