We are a radical performance community based in New York City. We love music, we love the potent force of harmony and rhythm, we love the struggle, we love the earth! We found our way to the choir from many different backgrounds and places. We are dancers, carpenters, artists, technologists, organizers, scientists, arborists, attorneys, students, teachers, dog walkers, filmmakers, acrobats, healers, writers, photographers, and gardeners.
Lillian Ball, Alto
Lillian sings to celebrate wetlands, prehistoric horseshoe crabs, and the great outdoors.
Jess Beck, Soprano
Jess Beck is a documentary film and television producer, director, and writer whose goal is to deliver truth to the masses. She prefers being silly to most other states of being. Singing and activism are two of her great loves, and she's thrilled to marry them in her work for the Stop Shopping Choir. Speaking of marriage...Jess just so happens to be be shacked up with one of Reverend Billy's attorneys (in her opinion, the cutest one).
James Solomon Benn, Emeritus Choir Director
I saw Reverend Billy's work chronicled on WNET Thirteen's EGG: The Arts Show. His presentation of an edgy, fun-filled parody of the black church captivated me. He provided me a way of getting in touch with my own fractured youth — my father having been a Methodist preacher. My fateful meeting with the Reverend occured the next day at the Kinko's on 54th Street. I learned first-hand about his mission and asked him how I could join his funky-purple-wig-wearing gospel choir. I was hooked. The rest is history. Having performed in and directed everything from Fats Waller to Shakespeare, the Church of Stop Shopping has allowed me to use my theatre skills to make a difference. Regional credits include Ain't Misbehavin' at Starlight Musicals, To Kill a Mockingbird and A Midsummer Night's Dream at Indiana Repertory Theatre, Five Guys Named Moe at Charlotte Rep and She Loves Mewith Nebraska Rep. James' one-person show, Lil Butchie Sings!, explores growing up fat, black and gay in the Bible belt.
Gusti Bogok, Soprano
Gusti Bogok is a yoga teacher, environmental activist, permaculture enthusiast and foodie. She is passionate about social justice and ecological issues and currently co-chairs the Sierra Club Atlantic Chapter’s Gas Drilling Task Force. Gusti first met Billy at a meeting to organize a rally to stop the Spectra pipeline--which delivers “fracked" radon-laced gas into New York City--an issue, which inspired the choir’s River Song and instigated a lawsuit. At a fundraising party for the Spectra suit, Billy impulsively invited Gusti onstage to sing with the Stop Shopping Choir. Not knowing the words to the songs she resisted at first, but after a couple of beers, finally relinquished and jumped on stage.
Mayfield Brooks, Soprano
mayfield brooks is a cultural worker & movement-based performance artist who studied contemporary dance at the school for new dance in amsterdam, danced with sf aerial dance company, fly away productions, and recently completed an mfa in theater & dance in 2014. after escaping the east coast for many years, mayfield has returned to nyc at the behest of the ancestors & is most curious about intersectional politics, cultural organizing, gender fuck, ancestral memory, dancing flesh, and shapeshifting improvisation.
John Carlin, Basso
John first witnessed the transformative power of the Church of Stop Shopping Choir at the legendary St. Marks Church in 2003. A longtime resident of NYC - as a musician, actor, and all-around shape-shifter/provocateur - he is a former RCA Recording artist. His old band 700Miles, for which he was the singer-guitarist-lyricist, toured with the likes of Radiohead, PJ Harvey, and The Flaming Lips. As a solo artist, TimeOutNY referred to him as "one of NYC's better-kept secrets." In 2006 he founded The Kids Music Underground, a groundbreaking early childhood music education program and family band. Recent theater work: Anias Mitchell's folk opera 'Hadestown' (Hades), and 'Turn Me Loose' (with Joe Morton, about the activist-comedian Dick Gregory), both through New York Theatre Workshop. John is also the proud single parent of a fiercely independent, socially conscious college-aged young woman.
Sierra Carrère, Alto
Sierra Carrère (a.k.a "Amazon Queen") has been singing with the Stop Shopping Choir for four years and feels so blessed to be a part of such a radical community and live in this cultural mecca we call NYC! She is so grateful to share our gospel in such a powerful, artistic and unique way! Sierra grew up in in Ithaca, NY, and has been performing since the age of 9. She is also a dancer, model, and has her own band, Sierra & the Nomads, and is a professional Hypnotist. Changealujah!
Molly Chanoff, Alto
Molly Chanoff is an acrobat living and teaching in Brooklyn. She performs with Lava, a troupe of artists who develop and perform original works that combine dance, theater, and acrobatics, and also teach their rigorous, creative and inclusive movement language to children and adults throughout New York City, the U.S. and beyond. She has performed trapeze in the Tasmanian woods, in Argentine art spaces, as well as her neighborhood home of Brooklyn (www.lavabrooklyn.org). She also works part-time at Human Rights Watch. She's a pack animal, polyglot and proud aunt; an inveterate optimist, half-Finn (though full Moomin) and handstand devotee.
Katie Degentesh, Soprano
Katie Degentesh is a poet whose first book, The Anger Scale, was selected for a 2009 American Poetry Society award and favorably compared to the Stooges by critic Stephen Burt in The Believer. She was raised in Maryland, went to school in the San Francisco Bay Area and has lived in Manhattan since 2000.
Dragonfly is an auteur, raconteur, and provocateur; a Southern Missionary Baptist deacon’s daughter turned deaconess with The Church of Stop Shopping, an ecosex ambassador for Sprinkle+Stephens Pollination Productions, and the official Ministress of Benevolent Madness for the US Department of Arts and Culture. She has begun spoonfeeding the world her provocative memoirs as a regular contributor to the Red Umbrella Project’s Prose & Lore Anthology series. A Texan-New Yorker and proud daughter of an Army combat medic/Korea/Vietnam veteran and a homemaker/domestic, Dragonfly earned a $41,000 debt for her fancy honors degree from a major public university.
Ben Dubin-Thaler, Basso
Ben joined the Church of Stop Shopping in 2003 to protest the illegal and unjust war in Iraq. Since then, performing with Rev. Billy and the choir has been a way for Ben to bring justice to the world through peaceful yet powerful song, ritual, and civil disobedience. From justice for coffee farmers in Ethiopia to stopping boreal forest destruction in Canada to preventing the unfair closing of Jerry's newsstand in the East Village of NYC, Ben is proud to join the bass section in channeling the earth spirits that might teach us humans how not to destroy ourselves. As founder and chief scientist of BioBus, he is also fondly known as "Dr. Science."
Gina Figueroa, Alto
Gina is a singer/songwriter/actor/activist who is a native New Yorker of Puerto Rican descent,"Nuyorican", born and raised in "Loisaida" a historically Latino area in the Lower East Side of NYC. Her parents were housing rights activists with the L.E.S. not-for-profit, "Adopt-a-Building", who assisted in acquiring and converting many vacant buildings into affordable co-ops and rentals. Gina was a Squatter/Homesteader for many years….
She began her theatrical studies and performed with her uncle Bimbo Rivas,activist/poet/playwright/director, who co-founded "El Teatro Ambulante","Nuyorican Poet's Cafe" and "C.U.A.N.D.O." She performed in Bimbo's "El Piraguero" at The Orpheum Theater as a child. Bimbo coined the name "Loisaida" which is his most famous poem. Ave. C was co-named Loisaida in his honor. Gina danced and sang with the folkloric Bomba y Plena dance troupe "Loisaida Folklórica" which was founded by her aunts Margie Ortiz Rivas and Miriam Rivas.
She has modeled for Vogue and Italian Elle magazines and has been photographed by fashion icons Bruce Weber and Steven Meisel. Gina has played the character "Laura" alongside Mickey Rourke in the film "Bullet" with Tupac Shakur and appeared with actor Luis Guzman on "The House of Buggin'" with John Leguizamo. She also appeared as herself with "Reverend Billy and the Stop Shopping Choir" in a documentary about consumerism in "What would Jesus Buy".
She wrote and recorded the song "Hecha le Canela" for the album "Voices of Hope" for the justice of rural and migrant farm workers which she performed for Pete Seeger at Riverside church.. She is also featured speaking in Spanish and also wrote the dialogue intro of D'angelo's newly released "Really Love" where she plays his love interest.
Christopher Fleck, Basso
Following his heart and Spirit, Christopher is seeking ways to combine his passion for music and singing with his environmental activism (especially around global warming and tar sands) and his spiritual practice. Four years ago, he moved singing from a side burner to a front burner and one year ago moved from Vancouver, BC to NYC to study vocal jazz at The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music. He is a teacher of meditation, energetic awareness and healing with Training in Power Academy. He has sung with the Vancouver Phoenix Chamber Choir, the Universal Gospel Choir and the People's Gospel Choir of Montreal. Christopher loves anything to do with healthy living, especially food and nutrition, and loves speaking french and spanish, dancing, biking, hiking, cross country skiing, and smelling the flowers.
Donald Gallagher, Basso
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 Viet Nahm, 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!
Yvonne Gougelet, Alto
Yvonne is a political performance artist, playwright & producer. She has performed in the theater for 19 years, in nearly 50 plays all over the world, in Scotland, London, Chile, Chicago, NY, Miami, and Tampa. She has also produced, written, directed and performed in 3 original political plays & is developing her 4th, "Lifting the Veil".
She's been arrested twice for peace & environmental justice, at the White House & on Wall Street. She's registered thousands of people to vote since 2007. She's worked with the United Nations Reliefs Working Agency of Palestine, Codepink, 350 and numerous organizations across the U.S. She slept at Occupy Wall Street the very first night, stayed for a month doing solo political street theater, before traveling to 7 different occupations. Please visit www.yvonnegougelet.com for more!
Amber Gray, Soprano
This is Amber's 9th year with the choir! Theatre: 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.
Gaylen Hamilton, Basso
Gaylen grew up in the June Carter School of Harmony in the mountains and on the plains of Colorado. He has lived in Brooklyn since 2000, where he builds sculptures, carnival rides, performance art and cabinetry for an eclectic and fabulous clientele.
Pat Hornak, Alto
Monica Hunken, Soprano
Monica, a California native born to an engineer and bilingual education activist, performs and teaches physical and street theater all over the world, including: a small Thai fishing village, a homeless shelter in India, a May Day festival in Poland, Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland, international theater festivals in Scotland and Ecuador, and all throughout the boroughs -- disrupting the streets and chain stores of fabulous New York City. She has a BFA in Experimental Theater and an MA in Educational Theater from NYU, but has received her greatest street education with the Church of Stop Shopping since 2002. You can usually catch her performing her solo plays, clowning in bike lanes, or some other act of Exalted Embarassment.
Lizzie Hurst, Alto
A maker and do-er living in New York City via Scotland via Minneapolis. She manages artist-built affordable studio spaces in Brooklyn and tries to meet most of her material needs through the home-made. She's always learning how to use her voice better, to achieve more.
Eric Johnson, Drummer
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/)
Sarah East Johnson, Alto
Sarah East Johnson is the founder and artistic director of LAVA, an Obie and Bessie Award-winning performance troupe that integrates dance and acrobatics into original productions characterized by physical rigor, intellectual wit and subversive politics. LAVA has performed at PS 122, Dance Theater Workshop, The Kitchen, The Flea Theater, Symphony Space, The Joyce, and the New Victory Theater and has toured around the U.S. The LAVA Studio in Prospect Heights Brooklyn offers classes for kids and adults in the unique blend of acrobatics and dance for which LAVA is known.
Denice Lee Kondik, Soprano
Barbara Robin Lee, Soprano
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.
e. Katrina Lewis, Musician
e. Katrina Lewis is the Executive Director of the NoVa Symphony Orchestra & Professional Musician - loves dates in the park with #mendilewis, traveling internationally and eating with chopsticks more than a folk.
Chantel Cherisse Lucier, Alto
Nehemiah Luckett, Music Director
Nehemiah Luckett, originally from Jackson, MS, has been composing, conducting and performing for over 20 years. In the fall of 2000, he moved to New York to study at Sarah Lawrence College where he continued to develop and share his musical talents.
Nehemiah has composed many solo, choral and instrumental pieces. His Secular Mass (a five movement work for chorus, string quartet and oboe) premiered in 2004. He has also written a full length musical, Brick by Brick, based on the works of Edgar Allan Poe with his collaborator, Ross Wade. He enjoys working with The Congregation which started as The Stevie Wonder Cover Band and is now a 10+ piece explosion of Soul, Funk and Love.
Music Direction credits: Company, Man of No Importance, Bat Boy, Promenade, Urinetown, Cabaret, Two Gentlemen of Verona, Cyrano, Legally Blonde, Wonderful Town, Fiddler on the Roof, Caroline, Or Change (Gallery Players, Brooklyn) and Dial "N" for Negress (Clurman Theater, NYC). Broadway and Off-Broadway Credits: Music Assistant under Music Supervisor David Loud on The Scottsboro Boys and The Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess.
Nehemiah currently works as a Voice Teacher at The Dwight School and serves as the Assistant Music Director/Composer-in-Residence at Asbury-Crestwood UMC in Tuckahoe, NY. He has been a featured soloist at the National Cathedral, Carnegie Hall and has performed all over the US and Europe. There is a deep gratitude for Power APAC (Academic and Performing Arts Complex) where he studied music and theater from 1991-2000 and his family that allowed him to dream crazy dreams.
With his background in musical theater, choral music, gospel, religious music and political activism the Stop Shopping Choir is the perfect place for Nehemiah. Artists making beautiful, meaningful work and making a difference in the world we all share.
Derrick McGinty, Star Emeritus
Billy and I met when he came to see a Peculiar Works Project show I was in at the Dixon Place Theatre, which at that time was located at the Vineyard 26 space. I didn't know him at the time but we talked a bit after the show and did some hamming it up, a la Southern Baptist Church. Unbeknownst to me he was not just auditioning me but creating a role, the First Lady of the Church, for me. And the rest, as they say, is history. Rest in Peace Beloved Brother Derrick. We love you FOREVER.
Laurie Mittelmann, Soprano
Laurie Mittelmann was born in Hackensack, NJ, and has been escaping that past ever since. She holds a record for planking in Paris and directs a radical history museum in New York City.
Shilpa Narayan, Alto
Shilpa was irrevocably drawn to the cries of "Strange-a-lujah!" and "Change-a-lujah!" that she heard shouted through the streets of New York City soon after she moved there in 2003; though, at the time, she did not know who the strange preacher man was who shouted them. After attending a performance of the Stop Shopping Choir in the halls of St. Mark's Church in-the-Bowery and witnessing Reverend Billy perform an exorcism on a Starbucks coffee cup, Shilpa could no longer be a stranger to this strange community. Shilpa is an attorney licensed to practice law in the State of New York. She is a dedicated defender of the First Amendment and a staunch advocate for the emancipation of imagination everywhere.
Laura Newman, Soprano and Composer
Known as the Diva of the Church of Stop Shopping, Laura joined the choir in 2000. She is a co-composer of much of the music including Fabulous Bad Weather, The First Amendment and The 99% Song who's lyrics come verbatim from the Declaration of the Occupy Wall Street. Highlights include soloing after Joan Baez at Burning Man 2005 and singing a gospel rendition of the First Amendment under her breath while handcuffed at the police station with Reverend Billy. Laura is also a filmmaker and writer. She directs Reverend Billy's Freakstorms and music videos for the church. Her films, including the activist comedy WE ARE THE HARTMANS starring Richard Chamberlain, can be seen at irREVERENTfilms.com.
Onome is the founder of Lush Tongue, an a capella choral ensemble featuring vocal improvisation and an eclectic, globally multicultural array of music from female composers. She uses music, performance, writing and other creative expression tools for consciousness expansion, self-discovery and empowerment. She has a four-and-a-half octave range (five on a good day) and she is continually developing her mastery in voice as a practitioner, performer, teacher and coach.
Sylver Pondolfino, Basso
Over the years I've marched and leafletted, boycotted and linked arms, shouted and wrote letters, gathered signatures, walked picket lines, broken into buildings, been arrested, interfered with arrests, and even voted, to try and bring about positive change. Singing has been the most fun.
Susannah Pryce, Soprano
The first time I saw The Rev was '98 or '99. I was performing in a show and riding around box office cash on a bike for the Fringe Festival. I saw this thing with a preacher and somebody in a mouse costume and I thought, "I want to see that one!" Later as an organizer for Artists for Peace (now Artists for Humanity), I called on the Rev to open our first show. A couple years later, The Rev saw me drowning in a 'real job' and saved me from the 'no shows' blues. Thanks Rev!
Susannah Pryce holds a Cum Laude degree in performing arts and acting from Florida School of the Arts and has been studying and performing on both the east and west coasts since 1989. Highlights include Comedy Central's Upright Citizens Brigade (Season 1, Episode 107/The Lady of the Lake), east coast tours with Theatre IV, and west coast tours with B Street Theatre under the direction of Timothy Busfield. As a model in New York, Susannah has graced the cover of the Village Voice and walked the runway for Nigerian Fabrics and Fashion, Timeless Elegance, and the Rhone Alps Ski Show. As a visual artist, Susannah's work was shown in New York at ABC No Rio, Korova Milk Bar, and display at the Bedford Avenue booth of the L train in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. As a vocalist, she has performed her original songs throughout New York at Tagine Dining Gallery, Stingers Lounge, and in France at the Fete de la Musique. As a musician, Susannah has played clarinet for more than 13 years, and experience performing piano and violin. As a writer, she has two completed projects: Chai Mama (now 'Chai'), a one-act play; and Diary in Disguise, a book of 300 poems. She speaks French and is a candidate for both Modern Dance/Choreography and English degrees at Long Island University. Susannah is thrilled to be a part of Reverend Billy's Stop Shopping Choir!
John Quilty, Tenor
Quilty has performed with Reverend Billy for more than a decade in concerts and shows at the REDCAT, Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, as well in the Christmas parade at Disneyland, the Donaufestival, Vienna, Berlin, Amsterdam, the Tate Modern, the Westfield London, Liverpool Tesco, Cambridge, Colchester Arts Centre, Burning Man, Tulsa Walmart, Castro Theatre, San Francisco, Mall of America, Austin’s South by Southwest Festival, Erykah Badu’s Black Forest Theater, Hillary Clinton’s office in the Capitol, the Senate cafeteria, underwater off Coney Island, Fifth Avenue Disney Store, Times Square, Highline Ballroom, Astor Place Starbucks, Bleecker Street Theatre, Theater 80, St. Mark’s Church, Das Spiegeltent, Theatre for the New City, Joe’s Pub, in laboratories at Harvard University, Cornell, Wesleyan, Oberlin College, UC Berkeley, CSU Northridge, but never at Hofstra. Amen.
Shuhei Shimizu, Tenor
Born in Japan and grew up there. He is a winner of multiple vocal competitions in japan. After being a part of singers in Sony music entertainment, and Toshiba EMI music, he came to NYC in 2013 to get some great experiences as an artist. He has been joining Reverend Billy and the stop shopping gospel choir since the beginning of 2014.
Ashlie Lauren Smith
Nathan Stevens, Electric Bass
Nathan was born and raised in Louisville, KY. He moved to NYC in 2004 and has performed and recorded with the Stop Shopping Choir since 2006. He currently lives in Brooklyn with his dog.
Dawn Stewart-Lookkin, Alto
Catherine Talese is a visual strategist, photographer and multi-media collaborator. She is a gardener, grower, composter, and bicycler, and endeavors to garden her life off-the-grid and into a greener world. Her first campaign with the Reverend Billy & The Stop Shopping Choir was coordinating the Unmarriage Until Gay Marriage ritual in support of marriage equality in 2010. People lead change, not politics!
Theodros Tamirat, Basso
Born and bred in Ethiopia, transplanted to New York City, saw the Reverend taking action against Starbucks at Cooper Union, followed him since. I love this planet, and singing. I also love animals and trees.
Travis Tench, Tenor
Travis Tench is a maker, builder, grower, lover, mover, traveler, teacher, singer, writer, composer, biker, cooker, and dreamer. He especially likes to make music, make things grow, and to connect people. He’s co-founder and Director of Markets of the urban agriculture, education, and food justice organization, EcoStation:NY. He lives in Brooklyn and thinks it funny when animals wear hats.
Chideo Tsemunhu, Soprano
A New Yorker via Pennsylvania and Zimbabwe, Chido has been singing for as long as she can remember – a love she inherited from her grandfather. She fell in love with the Stop Shopping Choir when she first saw them perform in 2009. She attended a few more shows and even joined the choir at various actions before becoming a member in 2012. Chido loves this exploring, protecting, and advocating for this great planet we call home. She is also a firm believer in the power of breakfast, smiling, and hugs.
Danny Valdes, Basso
Danny Valdes is a native of the climate-change-besieged Miami, Fl. He joined Reverend Billy and the Choir shortly after moving to New York City in 2009 and being absolutely bamboozled by a performance at the Anarchist Book Fair. He initially joined as a volunteer for the Rev's mayoral campaign and has been a proud member of the bass section ever since. He shares a home, a choir and a cat with partner and fellow choir member Dawn Stewart-Lookkin - one of many choir romances, but one of the few to result in marriage. He is also a guitarist in a heavy metal band called YAWN and a science educator on the BioBus, a project founded by choir member Ben Dubin-Thaler.
David Yap, Tenor
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.