Kathy’s 2nd Career! 

Most everyone in Big Bear Valley has attended at least one or more of the Music in the Mountains Summer concerts since the astounding performances began in Summer 2005. Community leaders Craig Smith, Bonnie Tregaskis, Dennis Thomas teamed-up with Kathy Clapsaddle to establish musical performances, that would entertain several hundred people in the outdoor forest setting at the Discovery Center. Approximately 75 people attended the first concert at the Big Bear Discovery Center Amphitheater. Thereafter, the focus of the team was to attract professional entertainment that would be environmentally sensitive to the beautiful San Bernardino Forests and build awareness of the importance of stewarding our treasured public lands for us and our children to enjoy.

The outdoor concert venue located on the North Shore Drive in the community of Fawnskin, seemed the perfect setting when approximately 75 people attended the first concert at the Big Bear Discovery Center Amphitheater, and each event thereafter for the first season. 

Proudly, they set a stake in the ground as an outdoor concert venue, for Big Bear Valley’s Music in the Mountains!  Musical programs each season that would bring people together and build awareness of the importance of stewarding our treasured public lands for us and our children to appreciate, would be on the future menus.  

Today, Music in the Mountains Co-producer Kathy Clapsaddle reflects over the past years, the excellent concerts, the unlimited entertainers, the friendships that came together and the support of audiences and supporters.

Clapsaddle inquires “What do you do when you retire early after a 30-year career with a Fortune-10 company, had a great time, traveled extensively, met wonderful people and honed your forte of event management with lazer precision in the infancy of event marketing?” 

When the Clapsaddle’s moved to Big Bear Valley, Kathy joined the team at the Big Bear Discovery Center, after attending the 2003 Discovery Center Gala, as a guest. It was at that event Clapsaddle decided to lend her skills as a volunteer to the 2004 and 2005 galas by selling sponsorships, running the live-action and backing Craig Smith, gala chairperson.  Clapsaddle joined the team as staff in late 2005 and continued as gala chair for the program by freshening up the event and raising dollars for the Discovery Center, now one of the busiest Visitors Centers of  the National Forest; welcoming over 190,000 visitors annually.  

A little bit partial, she comments, Music In the Mountains became my baby, to nurture and grow after a few short seasons; the baton had been passed.”

The purpose and magic we were creating with the Music in the Mountains resonates with the devoted and passionate people, whom we have always called our guests, by coming together the last 10 years to help build one of Southern California's most unique outdoor concert venues under the stars at 7,000'. 

Music in the Mountains SEASON 11 opens Saturday June 25th, with a new co-producer Dave Stone of Stone Entertainment Group. Stone’s team shares the same passion in continuing the tradition of bringing some of the best music outdoors to enjoy, celebrate and unite for  our public lands while joining resources to create more concerts, classic tribute rock AND new national bands, great food and beverage, and more fundraising.  The magic continues on June 25 at the Big Bear Discovery Center Amphitheater where multi-platinum Taylor Dayne will make her debut appearance on the mountaintop to launch a new decade of music in the mountains.  

‘THANK YOU, to our loyal sponsors, guests and newcomers!” Kathy. 

By E T Russell, June 2016

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Composed by Kathy Clapsaddle, 

a tagline for the series to communicate the purpose of the Summer Concert series, 'help heal the forest with music!