Founded in 1969, the South Jersey Pops is a 70-piece community orchestra based in Burlington County, New Jersey. Comprised of professional and volunteer instrumentalists, the Pops brings stylistic musical entertainment to South Jersey. Our performances are sure to delight audiences of all ages.
Robert Bradshaw, Music Director and Conductor
Robert is a conductor, violinist, music educator and an avid public speaker. In addition to conducting the South Jersey Pops Orchestra, Robert is also the founder and director of the Haddonfield School of Music and has been directing musical ensembles since 2001. He has performed as a violinist with numerous orchestras and ensembles at venues such as Carnegie Hall, The Kimmel Center in Philadelphia, Lincoln Center in New York, EPCOT Center in Walt Disney World, Universal Studios in Orlando, Mohegan Sun Resort, The Wells Fargo Center and The Spectrum. He is also a musician and guest conductor with the Orchestra Society of Philadelphia. Robert has led orchestras such as Haddonfield’s Galaxy Orchestra and over a dozen chamber orchestras. He is the founder and conductor of the Legends Orchestra & Chorus and served as guest conductor for Laughing Bird, a Philadelphia-based professional vocal ensemble. In July of 2015, he led several chamber ensembles at Carnegie Hall in New York City.
Emma Gibbins, Assistant Conductor and Oktoberfest Band Director
Emma Gibbins plays oboe, English horn and basoon, and serves as Assistant Conductor with the South Jersey Pops Orchestra. She is also director of our Oktoberfest Band. She earned her degree from 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 serves as vocal conductor with the Legends Orchestra & Chorus. As an oboist, she has also performed 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 a flutist with the South Jersey Pops as well as an Assistant Conductor and director of our Flute Ensemble. 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 and is a frequent performer with the Philadelphia Wind Symphony. She teaches elementary music and conducts the elementary band and chorus in the Medford Township School District. Rachel is an active professional musician and private instructor.
Jaress Loo, Concertmaster
Jaress Loo is a recent transplant to New Jersey from California. Along with being an experienced concertmaster in his previous city, he's also an accomplished pianist, guitarist, vocalist, composer, and arranger. He was one of the few students at his university who received a music scholarship for vocal jazz bass even though he was a business major. As a violinist, he was the concertmaster for a California-based Pops orchestra and a leader in the first violin section with its partner Symphony Orchestra, along with playing for multiple theatrical shows including some studio recording. As a pianist, guitarist, and vocalist, his experience is mainly in jazz and religious music (although not necessarily at the same time!), performing countless jazz gigs with his wife, recording a family heirloom jazz album, as well as serving as a worship leader in the last four churches he and his family have attended. His arrangement of "The Star Spangled Banner" earned local acclaim and a few years later, Jaress was recognized as a talented young composer with his violin concerto that he completed as an early college student. Currently, he resides in Cherry Hill with his wife and two sons, all of whom are also musicians. On the weekends, you can find him gigging around the South Jersey and Philadelphia area as the keyboardist and violinist. During the day, he works at Comcast as a Director for Technical Audit.
Shannon Halvorson, President
Shannon is a member of the South Jersey Pops cello section and has served as Vice President since 2019. Her passion for music began as a flutist in high school performing with the Chula Vista High Marching Spartan Alliance and competing in marching band competitions across Southern California. She stepped away from music to pursue a career and raise three amazing children. As an adult she found her passion once more in music as she learned to play the cello, joining the South Jersey Pops in 2017.
By day, she works as a consultant in the field of Change Management and Training. Her other passions include cycling, snowboarding, martial arts, and woodworking.
Christian Stebbins, Vice President
Christian is a member of the South Jersey Pops' horn section, and has served as President since 2010. He studied electrical engineering at Bucknell University, but maintained a passion for music, performing with Bucknell's symphony orchestra, symphonic band, and small wind ensemble. By day, he is a cybersecurity engineering manager at Comcast.