Meet our President!Hastings Musical Festival is pleased and proud to have Petula Clark CBE as our President. Petula is a world renowned singer, actress and composer with a career that has spanned seven decades. She is best known and loved for her 1960s hits which include “Down Town”, “ Don’t sleep in the Subway” and many more.
She made her radio debut in 1942 with a radio broadcast whilst she attended the BBC with her father when an air raid occurred and the producer requested that someone perform to settle the jittery audience.
This was subsequently broadcast and triggered a series of some 500 appearances in programmes designed to entertain the troops. During 1944, Petula was spotted in a performance at the Royal Albert Hall and this led into a career in films, which was closely followed by television performances in 1946 including her own show titled simply “Petula Clark”.
Petula branched into recording during 1949 and continued through the 1950s releasing hits such as "The Little Shoemaker" (1954), "Majorca" (1955), "Suddenly There's a Valley" (1955) and "With All My Heart" (1956).
Since then, together with her recordings, TV and film appearances, Petula has never been far from the public eye and in 2009 she was honoured by being made a Commander of the British Empire after becoming Britain’s biggest selling female artist.
Petula continues to delight sell-out audiences all over the world, and it was wonderful that she found the time to be with us at our 2011 Festival Finale, first presenting the special awards, and then enjoying the performances of our young and talented 2011 winners.
Petula has said that subject to her touring commitments, she will try her best to attend the 2012 Festival and that she is delighted to be our President.