An award-winning children's author and illustrator will help introduce children to classical music at a concert in Hatfield.

The University of Hertfordshire’s resident orchestra, the de Havilland Philharmonic Orchestra (dHPO), will be performing alongside acclaimed children’s illustrator James Mayhew for a wonderful Christmas treat – Fairytales and Pantomimes.

Hosted by UH Arts + Culture, the orchestra will be playing much-loved seasonal favourites by Rossini, Tchaikovsky and Humperdinck, while Mayhew paints his illustrations live on stage, in perfect synchronicity with the music.

His paintings will be projected onto a big screen for the audience to enjoy.

Welwyn Hatfield Times: James Mayhew on stage at a previous concert.James Mayhew on stage at a previous concert. (Image: James Mayhew)

The concert will take place on Advent Sunday, November 27 – the perfect date to experience the musical tales that inspired the traditional festive panto.

Inna Allen, acting head of UH Arts + Culture, said: “We are delighted to be teaming up again with award-winning children’s illustrator and author James Mayhew for a Christmas treat for the whole family.

"James Mayhew has collaborated with an impressive list of orchestras, and we are thrilled that he will once again perform with the de Havilland Philharmonic Orchestra.

"It’s a magical start to the Christmas countdown and a wonderful opportunity to introduce young people to the wonders of classical music – our audience of the future!”

A former pavement artist, James Mayhew has published over 50 books in a career spanning more than 30 years.

Since 2007 he has devised and presented classical music concerts for children with different orchestras, ensembles and soloists.

The de Havilland Philharmonic 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.

The Hatfield showpiece is a double bill, so there will be two 60-minute seasonal concerts taking place on November 27 – at 2pm and 4pm – in the 450-seater Weston Auditorium on the de Havilland Campus at the University of Hertfordshire.

Tickets can be purchased at a reduced price for 2022 – full price £12, concessions £9, children £5, free for carers and UH students – from the website or by calling the box office on 01707 281 127 (open Monday-Friday, 10am to noon).