Started in 1994 as an offshoot to the Garden State Pops Orchestra, the Garden State Pops Youth Orchestra provides students with symphonic literature that is normally not performed by a major symphony orchestra. The repertoire includes movie scores, broadway scores, and popular music in a symphonic setting.

The orchestra is an ensemble of talented students from the South Jersey area. Many of the members study with musicians in the Philadelphia Orchestra and New York Philharmonic. They also study with musicians who perform in Broadway touring companies, Philadelphia and New York recording studios, and house orchestras in the showrooms of Atlantic City. Our executive committee members are a highly dedicated group of talented individuals. Mr. Gregory Safko is the conductor emeritus and an accomplished pianist. Mr. Vince Gentless and Harry Parker, Jr are our conductors.

Vince Gentless
Mr. Gentless has been with the Pops since its inception in 1994. He is a graduate of Rowan University with a Masters Degree in Music Education. He has been a teacher in the Gloucester Township Public Schools system since 1977, teaching Instrumental Music to 6th, 7th and 8th grade students. Along with the Pops, he is Music Director for Mainstage Center Of The Arts, and he is very active conducting musical productions in the South Jersey area.

Harry Parker, Jr.
Harry Parker, Jr. has been playing music for 32 years. A player of multiple instruments, he performs for several South Jersey theater groups and bands, such as the Bonsal Blues Military Band of Woodbury, NJ. He has studied piano, music theory and arranging /orchestration privately with South Jersey musicians Joe Holt, Don Glanden and the late Jerry Vigue. Mr. Parker enjoys working with the youth orchestra and watching the young, nervous musicians mature into confident adult musicians.