2013 Black Excellence Awards Music Honoree Joe V. Nathaniel, Jr.

March 15, 2013
Joe V. Nathaniel, Jr.

Joe V. Nathaniel, Jr.
Majestic Community Choir


Joe V. Nathaniel, Jr.’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.

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, signing 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 Philadelphia Baptist Church. Little time passed before Joe at the age of twenty became director of the church’s music ministry a position he holds to this day. 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 New York City, and has performed at the city of Milwaukee’s Christmas tree lighting ceremony. The choir will celebrate its 35th anniversary this September, 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 endeavors 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 and his wife Waidean have been married since 1985. They have two sons who share their father’s love of music. Donavon, the older son, plays the drums. The younger son, Daquan, plays the piano.