Band Staff

Cody Thurber

Director of Bands

Mr. Thurber has served as Director of Bands at Natchitoches Central since July 2022. Prior to his time at NCHS, Mr. Thurber served as a Student Teacher with the Live Oak High School Band (Denham Springs, Louisiana). While with Live Oak, the concert band recieved "Best in Class" distinction at Festival Disney (in Orlando, Florida)

Mr. Thurber attended Louisiana State University from August 2017 until May 2022 and graduated with a Bachelor's of Music Education. While at LSU, Mr. Thurber was a 5 year member of the Golden Band from Tigerland and Bengal Brass Basketball Band. Mr. Thurber served as LSU's trombone section leader from 2020-2022. While at LSU, Mr. Thurber was also a four year member of the LSU Trombone Studio, studying under globally acclaimed trombonist, Dr. Hana Beloglavec. Mr. Thurber also performed in the Symphonic Winds, Symphonic Band, Trombone Choir, and the "I Digress" Trombone Quartet during his undergrad career. Mr. Thurber is an alumni of the Beta Gamma Chapter of Kappa Kappa Psi (National Band Fraternity). Mr. Thurber ended his college career with being named the Tiger Band's "Most Outstanding Bandsman" for the 2021-22 season.

Emmaleigh Toney

Associate Band Director / Flagline Coach

Ms. Toney has sereved as the Associate Band Director at Natchitoches Central since July 2022.  Prior to this, Ms. Toney served as a Student Teacher at Natchitoches Central High School under the leadership of Coach John Daughtery.  

Ms. Toney attended Northwestern State University from August 2018 until May 2022 and graduated with a Bachelor's of Science in Secondary Education and a concentration in Social Studies.  She was a four-year member of the Spirit of Northwestern Marching and Concert Bands.  During her time in the SON, Ms. Toney served as the piccolo section leader for the 2020 and 2021 marching seasons.  

In Spring 2023, Toney assumed the role of interim flagline coach at NCHS, and was appointed to the position full time in April 2024.

Alex Cormier

Winds Tech

Mr. Cormier is an accomplished jazz artist and dedicated music educator, currently serving as the band director at Natchitoches Jr High. With a rich background in music performance, Mr. Cormier holds a distinguished degree that has fueled a vibrant career both on and off the stage  

As a low brass specialist, Mr. Cormier brings a unique expertise to their teaching and performances. This specialization is showcased in his role as a prominent member of the Last Minute Big Band, where their dynamic performances and intricate improvisations have earned widespread acclaim. 

Balancing the roles of educator and performer, Mr. Cormier inspires young musicians with the same passion and dedication that defines their own musical journey. At NJH, Mr. Cormier not only directs the band but also fosters a love for music in students, encouraging them to explore their own musical potential. 

In May of 2024, Mr. Cormier joined the NCHS Band Staff as a wind instrument tech. 


Charles Heard

Percussion Tech

Mr. Heard is currently a student at Northwestern State University, pursuing a Bachelor's in Music Education. Before he came to Natchitoches, he served as the drumline and front ensemble section leader for his alma mater, Zachary High School. During this period, he performed in all four concert and jazz bands, receiving the John Philip Sousa Band Award in 2023. Additionally, he was in the choir and earned a spot in the LMEA All-State Mixed Chorus, receiving the Academic All-State award. Outside of school, he was a member of the Blue Stars Drum and Bugle Corps in 2021. 

At NSU, he is a memer of the percussion studio under Dr. Oliver Molina. He performs in the wind symphony, percussion ensemble, steel band, jazz combo, and the Spirit of Northwestern Marching Band in the front ensemble and drumline. He taught last summer at Zachary High, and is incredibly excited to teach at NCHS this Summer. 

Mr. Heard joined the NCHS Band Staff in May of 2024 in the role of percussion technician.