Our Staff

The Orchestra

Giacinta Walton, Guest Conductor Spring 2017

Ms. Walton is the daughter of the late Frank Salicandro, who founded the South Jersey Pops in 1969. She briefly conducted the Pops when Frank was in declining health, around 2005. She is a professional clarinet instructor and performer with over 30 years experience in preparing students for careers music. She is currently serving as Instrumental Music Director at Cherry Hill East High School since 2005, and also maintains a private clarinet studio at the Conservatory of Musical Arts in Haddonfield. Throughout Ms. Walton's teaching career, she has cultivated extensive experience leading different types of ensembles, from wind ensemble to jazz band to pit orchestra. 

As a professional clarinetist, she has performed with many local ensembles including the Philly Pops, Ocean City Pops, Atlantic City Chamber Ensemble, Bridgeton Symphony, Walnut Street Theater, South Jersey Pops, as well as with myriad of Broadway productions.

Emma Gibbins, Assistant Conductor and Oktoberfest Band Director

Emma Gibbins graduated from Hammonton High School in 2008 and Gordon College  in Wenham, MA in 2013. She has conducted the band and orchestra at Ipswich High School, the Billerica High School Wind Ensemble, the pit orchestra of South Jersey Stageworks, the Hammonton High School Marching Band and the Northern Massachusetts Youth Orchestra. She also served as assistant conductor to the Gordon College Wind Ensemble and has conducted the South Jersey Pops Oktoberfest Band.  An oboist in the South Jersey Pops orchestra, she has also played under Bruce Hangen of the Boston Conservatory and alongside Mia Chung of The Curtis Institute of Music. She currently teaches general music at Waterford Elementary School.

Rachel Smith, Assistant Conductor and Flute Ensemble Director

Rachel Smith is in her fifth season with the South Jersey Pops Orchestra as a member of the flute section and the Oktoberfest Band. She received a BM in Music Education with a concentration in flute performance from The College of New Jersey.  At TCNJ, she was a featured soloist of the wind ensemble and won the annual orchestra solo competition. She was principal flute in the orchestra and played piccolo in the wind ensemble. In addition, she has held leadership positions in many chamber music ensembles including flute choir, woodwind quintet, and recorder consort.  She teaches elementary music and conducts the elementary band and chorus in the Medford Township School District. Rachel also teaches private music lessons and freelances with local pit orchestras. 

Bridget Kasinskas, Concertmaster

Bridget Photo

Bridget concluded a 28-year career as string teacher and conductor for the Cherry Hill School District in June 2001, but she has continued to teach, to perform as a soloist and to conduct.

She also serves as assistant concertmaster of the Philharmonic of Southern New Jersey and has been a frequent soloist with that ensemble. She sat as concertmaster of the Philadelphia Musical Academy Orchestra and the Haddonfield Symphony and performed with the Pennsylvania Ballet Orchestra, Philadelphia Opera Orchestra, the Academy of Vocal Arts Orchestra, The Mozart Orchestra, Rutgers Festival Orchestra, the Delaware, Reading, Lancaster and Bridgeton symphonies, and the Delaware County Symphony. She played the Concert for the Humanities under Ricardo Muti and has performed with the Philly Pops and the Ocean City Pops Orchestra, where she continues to be a substitute player.

Her experience in Pop music includes performances with the show orchestras for many of the top stars in music, including Luciano Pavarotti, Andrea Bocelli, Tony Bennett and Rosemary Clooney. She has performed and toured extensively with folk music ensembles, including the Lithuanian Folksong Quartet and joined Relache, the ensemble for contemporary music, for performances in Lithuania. 

She lives in Cherry Hill with her composer husband, Joseph. They are the parents of three children and grandparents of two.

Christian Stebbins, President and General Manager


Christian studied engineering at Bucknell University, but also performed with the Bucknell University Symphony Orchestra, Symphonic Band, and Small Wind Ensemble. He is now a an engineering manager with Comcast, and plays in the South Jersey Pops' horn section. Serving as President since 2010, he has championed many new programs and initiatives, which have led to growing the Pops to over fifty-five volunteer musicians, creating several new small ensembles, and expandng the Pops library and repertoire.

Photographs of Mr. Stebbins courtesy of The Central Record, www.southjerseylocalnews.com

Board of Trustees


President - Christian Stebbins
Vice President - Gregory Schweitzer
Treasurer - Ed Tambascia
Secretary - Elizabeth Ulrich


Rich Amman
Jessica Beacham
Don Gosnay, Esq.
Jay Levenson
Debbie Markowitz
Yole Patterson

Past Presidents


Tom Baird 2007-2010

While the Pops has been a South Jersey institution for over 40 years, it was only recently incorporated and organized as a 501 (c) (3) non-profit in 2007. Tom, as our first President, helped guide and lead the Pops through the process of incorporation and attaining non-profit status.

© South Jersey Pops 2016