A Christmas family concert featuring an award-winning children’s author and illustrator painting live on stage can be enjoyed in Hatfield this month.

The University of Hertfordshire’s resident orchestra, the de Havilland Philharmonic Orchestra (dHPO), will be performing alongside artist James Mayhew for a wonderful Christmas concert for the whole family – Sounds of the Sea.

Hosted by UH Arts + Culture, the orchestra will be playing fabulous sea-themed favourites by Mendelssohn, Debussy, Wagner and Rimsky-Korsakov, while Mayhew paints his illustrations live on stage and projected onto a big screen for the audience to enjoy.

Welwyn Hatfield Times: Sounds of the Sea illustration by James Mayhew.Sounds of the Sea illustration by James Mayhew. (Image: James Mayhew)

Come and be swept away in this swashbuckling concert on Sunday, November 26. The tales of ghostly pirates, sunken cities, minstrels, and mermaids are guaranteed to enchant and delight.

Inna Allen, acting head of UH Arts + Culture, said: “We are excited to be teaming up again with acclaimed children’s illustrator, author and storyteller James Mayhew for this festive, sea-themed concert.

James has collaborated with orchestras for 15 years, and we are thrilled that he will once again perform with our resident de Havilland Philharmonic Orchestra.

"It’s a wonderful way to kickstart the Christmas countdown and a fantastic opportunity to introduce young people to the wonders of classical music!”

Tickets are available for newly reduced rates – between £5 and £12 (free for carers and UH students) – from the website www.uharts.co.uk or by calling the box office 01707 281127 (open Monday-Friday 10am to noon).

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

Welwyn Hatfield Times: de Havilland Philharmonic Orchestra and James Mayhew.de Havilland Philharmonic Orchestra and James Mayhew. (Image: Jonny Back)

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

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.

This is a double bill, so there will be two 60-minute performances taking place at 2pm and 4pm in the 450-seater Weston Auditorium on the de Havilland campus at the University of Hertfordshire.