We are a radical performance community based in New York City. We come from many backgrounds and experiences but share a love of the Earth, Justice and Music.
The Stop Shopping Choir formed organically between 1999 and 2003, some people joined from the street, others came in through the arts. We are a unique performance company, rooted in multiple traditions and musical excellence. We specialize in the imperative- we sing because we have to.
We are practicing our values, learning how to move through the world with integrity, alone and together. We are sinners. We love to dance.
Singer of the Month
THE STOP SHOPPING CHOIR
Ak is from the Netherlands. He was a gifted equestrian but left the stables for a more creative life in the arts. He is a sculptor and ceramicist, as well as clothing designer. He enjoys riding his bike in all kinds of weather.
Al is a bass in the choir. Since joining in 2014, Al has traveled to Europe, California and various other locales, belting the hits. When not activisting, Al plays guitar, writes things and performs comedy in some of the most the city's most prestigious basements. Al has lived in New York since 2016, but grew up in Boston. Before moving to New York, Al lived in Montreal, California and Japan.
This is Amber's 16th year with the choir! Theatre: Hadestown (on Broadway, Tony Nom.) An Octoroon (Soho Rep), Natasha Pierre and The Great Comet of 1812 (Kazino and Ars Nova), The TEAM's Mission Drift (London's National Theatre, Hong Kong Arts Festival, Perth International Arts Festival, New York COIL, Salzburger Festspiele, Edinburgh's Traverse Theatre, Universide de Coimbra, Lisbon's Culturgest, and ArtsEmerson), The World is Round (Ripe Time), We Play for the Gods (Women's Project), All Hands (Hoi Polloi), Eager to Lose (Ars Nova), Banished Children of Eve (Irish Rep), The Octoroon (P.S.122), and A Midsummer Night's Dream (Villa La Pietra Florence, Classic Stage Company, Bandshells of NYC Parks). Regional: Williamstown, Huntington, Connecticut Rep, and Aspen Theatre Masters. TV/Film: Broken Legs, The Burg, Law and Order: SVU, Roger the Chicken, Herkimer Dufrayne, Sissypants, The Weekend, & What Would Jesus Buy? Training: MFA NYU Graduate Acting.
She met her partner Gaylen in the Choir, they live in Brooklyn with their two kids and a piano.
Ariella Mandel is a 23 year old artist and garden/sustainability educator. She was born and raised in Washington Heights, although she currently resides in Inwood with her boyfriend/best friend, Ian. She has a passion for theatre and music, and her work is that of a director, singer, actor, designer, and collage artist. She is excited to join a choir where she can explore her passions for DIY art, movement techniques, and Trash Art. She is also a classically and jazz trained singer, with additional experience in musical theatre, and she has a particular interest in singing songs that come from her South American and Jewish heritage. She studied Theatre and Environmental Studies at the University of Vermont where she particularly focused on ecotheatre and theatre for social change and she hopes to continue to explore these concepts in her work
Barbara Robin Lee
In the very early morning of March 11, 1960 at 1:07am, Barbara Robin Lee was born to a 16-year-old black teenager at Pilgrim State Mental Hospital on Long Island, NY. Barbara grew up to be a madcap, nappy-headed tomboy who read comic books and listened to Elton John. In her young adulthood, she got politicized first by campaigning for Gary Hart the first time around, and then she discovered anarchism when she became homeless and squatted in the Lower East Side. Barb has spent a lot of time in the NYC and New Jersey jails for protesting in the streets of NYC, in Tompkins Square Park, and fighting white supremacists at Giants Stadium.
Nowadays, Barbara dyes her gray hairs and still thinks she's a teenager. She loves her two cats and is a friend to all animals. She sings soprano in the choir and she thanks Rev. Billy for saving her from political apathy. Oh yeah -- when the mood hits her, she unleashes her furious talent of the written word to all whom will read and listen. Lester Bangs, Assata Shakur and Dr. Hunter S. Thompson are her heroes. She was Singer of the Month in 2012.
Billy is a poet and punk. He is a lover of birds and street talk. He spent many years on the west coast before moving to NYC. He also hitchhiked for almost an entire decade. He lives with his partner Savitri and his darling child Lena in Brooklyn-you can read more about him here.
Candyman is form the future.He likes to read and dance.
Charlene moved to NYC from Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria, she is maker and a mover and very good with plants and children. Charlene is deeply curious and aware, she a theater student at Brooklyn College and teaches Spanish. She loves fashion, dancing, Teddy, good healthy food and the natural world.
Founded in 2019 The Stop Shopping Choir Council is made up of elected choir members chosen to take care of the choir at large. The council members rotate around every six months and like stewards of the land, they anticipate and tend to the choir’s needs, and instigate the community’s collective imagination. Self-determined and evolving, the council just wants to help.
Current members : Evita Jimenez, Charlene Ruscalleda, Sylver Pondolfino, Nehemiah Luckett, Danny Valdes, and Sunder Ganglani
DO YOU WANT TO JOIN THE CHOIR?
We rehearse on Sunday evenings. Please join us for a full rehearsal and we can, together, see if it is a good fit. We have many levels of singers, from Broadway belters and classically trained to karoake and secret shower crooners. Site reading and the ability to read music are not necessary! Check out our music.
The Church of Stop Shopping is intent on creating a safe and vibrant environment, one that encourages creativity, courageous activism and community consciousness.
We consider each other’s feelings and comfort levels.
We treat each other with respect and do our best to understand each other’s differences.
We encourage interpersonal complexity, lets be involved in each other’s lives!
SINGERS OF THE MONTH
Barbara Robin Lee
CHOIR EMERGENCY FUND
We have a small emergency fund which is available for the choir, usually grants and loans of 250$ or less. This is one way we help eachother through rough patches as many of us live paycheck to paycheck. Would you like to CONTRIBUTE to the Choir Emergency Fund?