By Nathan Kerner
Joe Nathaniel’s parents introduced him to music when he was four. After his first few piano lessons, it was clear he had a gift. This gift would guide Joe Nathaniel’s life, and still does to this day.
Joe Nathaniel, a Milwaukee native, attended UW-Milwaukee and the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music when he found a job with Briggs and Stratton as a Power Tester. A Power Tester signs off on all products before they are shipped. This Job allowed him to earn a livable wage while pursuing music, his true passion. While still in his teens, Joe became an organ player for Philidelphia Baptist Church. Little time passed before Joe became the director of the church’s music ministry at the age of twenty. He has held that position to this day. Joe has never had a problem with balancingthe two responsible positions at Briggs and Stratton, and Philidelphia Church. Joe oversees five separate choirs, and screens all musicians who wish to perform for the church.
In 1978, Joe formed the Majestic Community Choir. The choir has members from around the city of Milwaukee, and has gone on several interstate tours. The Majestic has toured to St. Louis, Chicago, Memphis, Cleveland, Houston, and Brooklyn, N.Y. and has performed at the city of Milwaukee’s Christmas tree lighting ceremony. The choir will celebrate its 35th anniversary September 29th, an event Joe is looking forward to. The event is expected to be large. The Majestic, a nonprofit organization, has held many shows which do not charge for admission.
Joe retired from Briggs and Stratton in 2009 after working there thirty years. He has since dedicated himself full time to music. Among his current music endevors are serving as Minister of Music for the General State Baptist Convention Choir and playing organ for the 8 a.m. Sunday service at St. Mark’s church. He has been involved with St. Mark’s for the last four years. Joe also leads the Praise Team at St. Mark’s.
Joe has been married to his wife Waidean since 1985. He has two sons who share their father’s love of music. Donavon, the oldest son, plays the drums. The youngest son, Daquan, plays the piano.