Getting to Carnegie Hall


At some point in our lives, we all have heard the joke about how to get Carnegie Hall, and if you ask junior mechanical engineering major Nathanael Wendel, the punchline would still be “practice,” but he would also add, “be a member of the LeTourneau Singers.” In June, Wendel was able to travel to New York City and perform at the famed venue along with forty-five others from LeTourneau and the East Texas area. “It was a great trip and truly an amazing experience to perform at Carnegie Hall,” he said.

While possibly not as grand a stage, Carnegie Hall was not Nathanael’s first performance of note. “In high school, I was in productions of Phantom of the Opera, All Shook Up and Chicago, he said.  “That was when I really developed a love for musical theater,” he said. He also found that being part of these shows allowed him to forget about everything and get lost in the music.

Nathanael is the son of Tim and Melanie Wendel who are both missionaries currently serving in Montevideo, Uruguay. “I was born in Chicago, then spent my early childhood in Madrid, Spain, and then we went to Uruguay, and that’s where I graduated from high school,” Wendel said.

It was through his work with mission-based organizations that Nathanael’s father originally heard of LeTourneau. “When we came to America to tour colleges, I knew I wanted to major in engineering, and my dad knew of LeTourneau. But what made my decision for me was not only the educational opportunities, but the spiritual depth and the quality of the people here,” he said.

He was also happy to find out there were some Fine Arts opportunities available on campus as well. “I heard about the Stage Right club, but I was more interested in singing than acting,” he said. So, when the opportunity to join the LeTourneau Singers presented itself, Nathanael was happy to join. “Music is an outlet for my creative side, and I enjoy performing music that glorifies God,” he said.

Serving as an engineer for Space X, NASA or Tesla would be at the top of his list of dream jobs after graduation because of the quick-paced engineering that exists at each of those companies. But he also hopes to end up in a career where he can continue to pursue his love of music. “I would like to be somewhere that has some type of civic chorus or musical theater,” he said. “This is another way I can glorify God. Continuing to use music as a form of worship is very important to me.”