About The Stop Shopping Choir
We are a radical performance community based in New York City, we come to the Choir from many different creative and activist backgrounds. We have evolved a very particular sound and performance experience from the synthesis of our lived experience. We are grounded in the work of Justice and in service to the Earth. We love to Sing together.
Singer of the Month
THE STOP SHOPPING CHOIR
Colista is a Social Worker and former professional actor. An Upstate, NY transplant with a love for the Earth and a love for community building. Colista lives in Queens and is overjoyed that she has found a way to express her love of performance and social justice advocacy by performing with the Choir!
Danny joined the choir soon after moving to NYC in 2009, and shortly after that fell in love with a fellow choir member. Since then he has played many roles in the choir - from campaign manager to media manager to defacto tech guy to member of the Choir Council to just plain ol' basso. The merging of art and politics is sometimes difficult for him, but always appreciated.
David Yap was born and raised in the Bay Area, California. A dual citizen of the United States and Canada, he studied Anthropology in Montreal and then spent time travelling. Eventually, he ended up in NYC, where he kept running into this strange sounding preacher with an incredible choir. In 2012, he had the privilege of being married at Burning Man by the Reverend Billy, Savitri D., and the choir. Little did he know he was actually saying "I do" to a whole choir community. It wasn't long until he started showing up to practices and became a tenor. When he's not invading banks that fund fossil-fuel extraction, he's hard a work attaining a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology.
A native New Yorker, Sister Dawn is an artist, writer and creator of many things. Explore their work on Instagram. She/they have been in the choir for 12 years, and within the past year, was Singer of the Month as well as a member of the Choir Council. They reside in their hometown neighborhood with partner, Danny Valdes, a nearly 5 year old, a cat-baby and numerous plant-babies. They are mixed non binary femme because fuck the gender binary.
Debbie is an ASL interpreter, visual language performer and native New Yorker living in Greenwich Village since 1980. Her early experiences and activism in Civil Rights, The Anti-War and Feminist Movement were influential paradigms that paved the way for advocating for the Americans with Disability Act of 1990. She’s been an active member of diverse Deaf Communities in New York City and abroad.
Inspired by the Stop Shopping Choir, she joined in solidarity and is welcomed and embraced by her community activists.
Derrick was a founding member and visionary of Tthe Stop Shopping Choir, he died in 2010 in his hometown of Jackson Mississippi. Derrick was a scholarship student at Earlham College and appeared in many shows throughout his career in New York. He is greatly missed by everyone who knew him.
I joined the choir for the "Save the Poe House" campaign, have been singing and acting up with The Church of Stop Stopping Choir ever since, and is one of the great joys of my life. I have been an activist since an early age, first in Civil Rights in the 60's, working to stop the war in Vietnam, the Stonewall Riots and gay rights; then I got involved to help bring attention raise money and consciousness to help fight the plague of AIDS. I am also a Radical Faerie, and a member of the New York (dis) Order of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence. Working with Rev. Billy incorporates all of these experiences and puts it into a wonderful musical expression full of love and joy.
I am a low bass and in my work life I do architectural painting in all styles (I am best known for running borders, faux marble wood and textures made with plaster). I am also expert at wallpaper and have a good sense of what a color will look like in August and in February, so adjust for both.
Hope is where my heart is, what we do feels like I am sharing that with any one who will listen, and on many an occasion to those who do not, but they do hear it anyway. And as my hope spring is unlimited maybe even the hardest heart will be softened and maybe, just maybe, change even a bit. Changealujah, Strangealujah!
DRAGONFLY is Robin LaVerne Wilson is Miss Justice Jester: Conceptual. Artist. Performer. Storyteller. Facilitator. Ritualist. Writer. Educator. Curator. Culture Warrior. Tambourinist. Dean of Details. Activist. Photographer. Filmmaker. Scholar. Minister. Ecologist. Accidental senatorial candidate. Texan-New Yorker. Maafa descendant. Nerd. Queer. Eclectic. Eccentric. Curious. AFFILIATIONS: Betty’s Daughter Arts Collaborative, Church of Stop Shopping, Pollination Productions, The Opportunity Agenda, Jump-Start Theatre, Theatre Neumarkt, Miss Vera’s Academy, Esperanza Peace & Justice Center, Rutgers University, CUNY School of Professional Studies. INFLUENCES: Sharon Bridgforth, Linda Montano, Annie Sprinkle, Beth Stephens, Rev. Billy Talen, Sterling Houston.
Chicago native Eric Johnson has badass chops the whole way around: from African and Latin polyrythms, to rock and r&b, to jazz, gospel and hip-hop, Eric’s power and finesse with all manifestations of the beat is exceptional. Maybe it’s all the time he has spent DJing and collecting rare records, maybe it’s a by-product of his production talents, or maybe it’s just due to his Creole heritage, but whatever the source of Eric’s musical diversity, it has made him a much-in-demand participant in projects of multiple genres for a truly impressive array of artists, including Kanye West, Lupe Fiasco, Angie Stone, Dru Hill, Chingy, Pras (The Fugees), Jackie Dustin, The Pentecostals of Chicago Choir, The Turks & Caicos Mass Choir, and The Arkansas Mass Choir. It’s a simple as this: Eric rages on the drums, and he breathes a fiercely dynamic fire into the rhythms of Tycoon Dog (www.tycoondog.com), Christina Gaudet (www.gaudetband.com), Reverend Billy and the Church of Life After Shopping Gospel Choir (www.revbilly.com), and Turbine (www.turbinemusic.com). Eric has also worked with Scandal Music Jingle House and has played drums on several tv commercials for McDonald’s, Toys-R-Us, Frosted Mini Wheats, Miller Genuine Draft, and the WNBA.
Since 2010, Eric has relocated back to his hometown of Chicago and now plays with Midnight Sun Band, (http://midnightsunchicago.com/), Surge Band, and has also recorded an open mic/poetry tv show with American Idol artist Angela Martin (http://blog.zap2it.com/frominsidethebox/2010/02/american-idol-angela-martin-recording-a-song-via-ellen-degeneres-kara-dioguardi.html). Eric just finished recording an album with Christina Gaudet in NYC, who got selected to perform on Bravo’s tv show, “Hitmakers”. (http://gaudetband.com/fr_home.cfm) . Eric also plays with r&b legends, The Emotions when they go on the road. Eric continues to play shows with Tycoon Dog, and Reverend Billy and the Church of Life After Shopping Gospel Choir when in NYC. Eric is also an endorsee for Soultone Cymbals out of Encino, CA. Eric has also produced an album by rap artist A.O.N. (http://aonmusik.ning.com/), and has his own music production website under his dj name, DJ MARBLL (http://www.soundclick.com/bands/default.cfm?bandID=783049)
Eric’s dj mixes can also be heard under the mixcloud page: (https://www.mixcloud.com/eric-johnson7/)
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, Kai Pelton, Sylver Pondolfino, Ashni Sunder, Max Andrucki, 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?