The Orchestra

Robert Schiavinato, Music Director and Conductor


Conductor and music director Robert Schiavinato, in his second season with the South Jersey Pops, brings with him nearly 20 years of experience as a conductor and instrumentalist with both professional and community musical ensembles. 

 “I’m excited to be working with the Pops. The orchestra has made me feel extraordinarily welcome and has dedicated itself to making our first season together a real showcase for the audience,” he said.

In addition to his role with the Pops, Mr. Schiavinato continues his association with the Orchestra Society of Philadelphia as guest conductor and with both the Broadway Theatre in Pitman and Triton High School in Runnemede as pit orchestra conductor. He served as music director and conductor of ACT Children’s Musical Theater Program from 2002 to 2006 and as music director of American Opera Productions in New York from 1998 to 2001. He conducted the Washington Township Community Orchestra from 1990 to 1994 and served Bridgeton Symphony, now the Bay-Atlantic Symphony, in several capacities, including acting music director, between 1990 and 1997. He has guest-conducted the Olney Symphony and the Atlantic Community College Orchestra and served as cover conductor for the Olney Symphony, Ambler Symphony and Independence Sinfonia. 

Mr. Schiavinato has a degree in Music Education from Glassboro State College and a degree in Brass Performance from Temple and has studied at the Julliard School and the Royal Academy of Music. 

Cheryl Reifsteck, Associate Conductor and Concertmaster

Cheryl Reifsteck Publicity Photo

Associate conductor Cheryl Reifsteck played the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto as a soloist with the Altoona Symphony in 1970 and was accepted to Curtis at 15. After two years at Oberlin Conservatory and a year at Philadelphia Biblical University, she finished her Violin Performance degree at the University of the Arts in 1978. In 2002, she received her teacher certification from Eastern University and in May 2012 she completed master’s degrees in both Instrumental Conducting and Violin Performance at Rowan University.

Her career as a violinist has included contracts with the Seattle Symphony; orchestras in Binghamton, Wichita, Harrisburg, Delaware and Trenton; the Delaware Valley Philharmonic, the Newtown Chamber Orchestra, the Northwest Chamber Orchestra and the Bay-Atlantic, Altoona and Johnstown symphonies. She has performed with the Silver Bay String Quartet at Lake George, NY, and toured Italy with the Puccini Music Festival. She has worked as principal violinist with the Broadway Theatre in Pitman and is a classroom instrumental music teacher for the Philadelphia School District.

She has performed concerts with Birgit Nilson, Jerome Hines, Barbara Dever, Mignon Dunn, Shirley Jones, Glen Campbell, Peter Cetera, Tony Orlando, Cab Calloway and the Shirelles. She specializes in Gypsy violin, gospel improvisation and chamber music and has played jazz solos for the Small Ensembles Jazz Concerts at Rowan.

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 technology project 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. Schiavinato and Mr. Stebbins courtesy of The Central Record,

© South Jersey Pops 2013