Band Staff

Michael 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, his 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 Director of Bands

Ms. Toney has sereved as Associate Director of Bands 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.

Cady Cassels

Colorguard Instructor

Cady Cassels has been a part of the colorguard world for 15 years now. Her journey began in 2008 when she started on her high school team at Airline High School. Fast forward to 2012 when she was a part of the Demon Heat Colorguard at Northwestern State University and she wrapped that up in 2016. She also was an active member of Phi Mu Fraternity and Tau Beta Sigma sorority! She began coaching at Logansport High School in 2014 and was there for four marching seasons. She has been the Natchitoches Central High School Tribal Fire coach for 5 years now and started the team winterguard program in 2018. They have competed in 2018, 2019 and 2021.

She is also a devoted teacher of exceptional student services during her days at Natchitoches Central High School.

While at home she enjoys spending time with her family, husband of 3 and a half years, Seagent Matthew Cassels of Northwestern State University Police and son Scotty! Their family is also expecting a new addition in Spring 2023!

Alexander Guillary

Jazz Instructor

Alexander Guillory joined the faculty of Natchitoches Central High School in the Spring of 2021 and currently serves as an English I teacher and the NCHS Jazz Band director. He received his bachelor's degree in Music Education at Northwestern State University, and has performed, assisted in directing, and composed/arranged for multiple ensembles therein.

In addition to leading the Natchitoches Central Jazz Band, Mr. Guillory assists part time with the "Pride of the Tribe" Marching Band.