The University of Hertfordshire's resident orchestra will be celebrating Black History Month.

This October, the de Havilland Philharmonic Orchestra (dHPO) will be launching a new concert season – their first full season in three years.

Hosted by UH Arts + Culture, the orchestra’s first concert will observe Black History Month and celebrate the acclaimed English composer Vaughan Williams’ 150th anniversary.

The orchestra has enjoyed over 50 years of success and brings together over 80 classical musicians who perform a wide musical repertoire under the leadership of their dynamic conductor, Robin Browning.

Inna Allen, acting head of UH Arts + Culture, said: “We are delighted to launch a full season of concerts again after three long years and can’t wait to welcome people to the Weston Auditorium to enjoy wonderful live orchestral performances.

“This special concert observes two significant events; Black History Month by playing a work by London-born Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, an early 20th century composer and son of a West African father and English mother who fought against race prejudice with his incredible compositions, and the 150th anniversary of composer Vaughan Williams, who believed in making music as available as possible to everyone and whose work spanned 60 years.”

Coleridge-Taylor’s work Symphonic Variations on an African Theme has been chosen by contemporary artist Harold Offeh as the accompaniment to his video artwork ‘Body Landscape Memory, Symphonic Variations on an African Air, Op.63’ (2019).

Offeh’s film, which focuses on the presentation of Black bodies in the landscape, will be screened at the concert with the orchestra providing a live soundtrack to it.

The film also forms part of UH Arts + Culture’s upcoming visual arts group exhibition 'Empathy for People, Empathy for Things’ to be held at the Art + Design Gallery at the University of Hertfordshire, launching October 26.

Two works by Williams will be performed: The Wasps (Overture), which was part of his incidental music to Aristophanes’ eponymous play, followed by his London Symphony.

This was written in response to a suggestion by fellow composer George Butterworth resulting in Williams incorporating some musical sketches about London into a symphonic form.

The concert will be one of seven repertoires performed by the dHPO this season and will take place on Sunday, October 16 at 4pm at the 450-seater Weston Auditorium on the de Havilland Campus at the University of Hertfordshire in Hatfield.

Tickets can be purchased from the website or by calling the box office on 01707 281127, open Monday to Friday, 10am to noon.

Parking is free on Saturdays and Sundays.