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Meet the Tonalta team of teachers.  Tonalta teachers are first-rate musicians and adept at bringing out the talent in others.


Tyler Henderson  - Drum, Keyboard, Guitar Instructor.  Tyler Henderson lives a busy life.  Tyler plays professionally in the area and currently tours with Tracy Byrd. He has endorsments from several well-known musical equiment manufacturers, including 7drums and Sledgepad. Check out Tyler's welcome on 7drums.

At Lamar University, Tyler studied Music Education and played in the Wind Ensemble, Jazz Band, Pep Band, and Percussion Ensemble.  He has played with many churches in the area, including Cathedral in the Pines, Westgate Baptist, Calvary, Church on the Rock, and is currently playing at Christian Fellowship Worship Center.  In addition to teaching drum, guitar, and keyboard at Tonalta, Tyler has taught percussion at a number of area high schools and middle schools.    Tyler also enjoys speinding time writing his own music.

In high school, Tyler made the All-Region Jazz Band three years in a row, and went on to area each year. His junior year, he placed 7th in the state of Texas.  Tyler enjoys playing blues, pop, rock, funk, and jazz styles of music, and, in addition to the drum kit, plays a number of other instruments, including keyboard and guitar.  Tyler's favorite artist is John Mayer and his favorite drummer is Steve Jordan.


Mary Guillory-Newman - Piano Instructor

Mary Guillory-Newman has loved music for many years.  At the age of 9, her mother decided to put her in piano lessons so that she could learn how to read music.  Since, that time, she has studied piano and music under Alice Faye Rogers, Dr. Verlie Mitchell, Steven Allen, J. N. Collier, Dr. Richard Dowling, and  Dr. Yi Zhang. Mary has a bachelors degree in Dance and expects to finish her degree in Music Education in 2015.  Mary has completed internships at Ozen High School and Marshal Middle School in Beaumont, and her student teaching was completed at Pietzsche- MacArthur Elementary School and Central Medical Magnet High School in Beaumont.


G.W. Franklin, Piano Instructor

G.W. began learning music at a young age, beginning piano lessons at age 5 and continuing these until age 18.  He learned a variety of musical styles, including jazz, classical, and contemporary Christian.  In Middle and High School G.W. played piano in a jazz band at school and began playing at his home church as both a solo pianist and as a member of the praise and worship band.  He has continued to play piano in various church praise bands and is a member of the praise band at Wesley United Methodist Church in Nederland, TX.  G.W. also plays French Horn and Mellophone (a marching band brass instrument), and was a member of LSU’s Tiger Marching Band for 4 years.

G.W. has a B.S. in Chemical Engineering and currently works full-time as a Process Engineer with BASF Corporation.  In his free time, G.W. enjoys playing and listening to music, board games, swimming, bike riding, and traveling.  

Chase Cobb - Instructor & Tonalta Operations Coordinator.  

Chase Cobb is Tonalta's Operations Coordinator and teaches vocals, guitar, and directs the Tonalta bands. In addition, he serves as coordinator of the contemporary worship service at Wesley UMC in Nederland. Chase is also an active member in the music community and spends much of his time performing with local christian artist Alex Westbrook. Chase is featured as a guitar player on Alex's latest songs, "I Saw The Light" and "You Are There." Chase is an accomplished singer, guitar player, and also plays bass, piano, and drums.   Chase has a Bachelors degree in General Business with an emphasis in marketing and management. 


Chelsea Martinez - Piano & Vocal Instructor

Chelsea is an accomplished pianist and singer. Chelsea has a degree in Commercial Vocal Performance from the Lamar State College-Port Arthur Commercial Music program and has taken formal vocal training for eleven years. Additionally, she has also studied piano for over six years. She has performed with SETX Children's Chorus of Lamar Beaumont, Beaumont Symphony, Spirit of SETX Chorus, both of the Lamar-Port Arthur Commercial music bands, as well as other smaller ensembles. She is currently working on a Bachelor's degree in Vocal Performance.


Jim Cammack -  Keyboard Instructor

Jim served for six years as the Music Director at Wesley United Methodist Church in Nederland  and as a keyboardist and a vocalist with the Wesley Celebration Band.  He was a member of the ISX All-American High School band (on trombone), and was selected to All-Region bands, All-Region, and Area choirs, as well as the Tri-State honor band.   Jim has a bachelors and masters degree and over 20 years of classroom teaching experience at the college level.  He enjoys songwriting, recording and arranging. 


K.C. Shay - Instructor

KC Shay has a certificate in Commercial Music performance on guitar from Lamar Port Arthur and is currently the lead guitarist for Minority Stone, as well as a live performance session guitarist, performing with numerous bands in the area, including My Beautiful Disaster, and Preacher and the Ghost. He's also performed with music legends: Chris Montez, Dickey Lee, Johnny Tillotson, and Jivin Gene Bourgeois, as well as local acts such as: Larry Tillery, Danny Dillon & West 105, Charrice & Co., J.A.G., and LSCPA’s touring band “Section 51”. KC also performs and occasionally directs house bands for theater productions, most recently Port Arthur Little Theater’s 2016 production of the “Rocky Horror Show”.

Inspired to play guitar by Slash, and ZZ Top, he was educated on lead guitar by the great local guitar virtuoso: Kenny Sanders, and by legendary Wrecking Crew guitarist Mike Deasy. He started playing piano first in 6th Grade, learning classically, then he took up percussion in middle school band starting in 8th grade, graduating high school in 2010 as the frontal ensamble section leader in Marching Band. K.C. started playing guitar professionally in 2008 with his first band “Formido”.  He gives credit to God for his talents and believes "Whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God."

K.C. teaches guitar, piano, bass guitar, and drums for Tonalta, and is currently attending Lamar University majoring in Computer Information Systems.



Keith Walls - Piano & Vocal & Band Instructor

Keith Walls is from Detroit, MI and teaches keyboard, and vocals at Tonalta. He graduated from Detroit School of Arts High School where he majored in voice, Claflin University in Orangeburg, SC where he received a Bachelor of Arts in Music, and is currently working on his Master of Music in Piano Performance at Lamar University in Beaumont. At Lamar, Keith serves as a graduate assistant for the department and can be seen playing for many different events on campus. Keith is also a musician at First United Methodist Church Port Neches and plans to go into voice and opera coaching.


Chris Jack

Chris Jack - Instructor

Chris is a Lamar vocal performance student; he travels around the nation often for competitions. Chris earned first chair in All-State Mixed Choir his senior year of high school and has a full ride scholarship to Lamar University. He has sung in the opera Carmen at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York, New York, as well as performed solos in Julie Rogers’ Theater and Jefferson Theater in Beaumont. Additionally, he has won numerous city, state, and national solo vocal competitions.

Chris works for Calvary Baptist Church as their worship intern, and sings/plays on a weekly basis for them; during the week he will also do stage audio and visual setup, screen programming, and lighting scene programming for the coming services. He also directs the choir and orchestra, praise team, and worship band in the absence of the worship pastor. When not at Calvary, Chris often sings and plays at Praise Church, Cathedral in the Pines, Church on the Rock, or Antioch Missionary Church. Chris is also an excellent pianist ; he has competed in classical piano competitions in New York, New York; London, England; Paris, France; Washington D.C.; and countless others. He has competed in the Van Cliburn Piano Competition, which is annually held in Fort Worth and is considered by many as the premier piano competition in the world. He has also won city, state, and national titles. Chris was asked by the director to play in Lamar University’s Jazz Band and Jazz Combo when he was still only a junior in high school. He played keyboard and guitar for these groups and traveled to perform at Julie Rogers’ Theater, Jefferson Theater, New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, and various weddings and such as part of the premier jazz group at Lamar. Chris plays classical guitar, bass, and drums as well and has an extensive teaching background; he has produced students able to play adeptly in worship teams, and other bands as well as play repertoire such as Vals Venezolano No. 3, Prelude in C (Bach, J.S.), and many more.

Anthiony Alex

Anthony Alex - Instructor

Anthony Alex has played the drums since he could barely walk. His family reports that he would grab the cardboard portion of hangers and begin playing a steady and consistent beat on just about any surface. Since those early days, Anthony has moved on to pursue a degree in Music Education at Lamar University; which he will obtain on May 12th, 2018. During his time at Lamar University, he has participated in  music-related organization provided at the institution ranging from the Lamar University Civic Orchestra, the Showcase of Southeast Texas Marching Band, the Lamar University Jazz Orchestra, and the Lamar University Cardinal Jazz Singers; just to name a few. He was also a member in Lamar University’s championship-winning percussion studio as a participant in the 2015 Percussive Arts Society Indoor Drumline competition. Moreover, he is a part of a local Jazz combo by the name of The Lunch Combo which consists of him and other fantastic musicians: Andre Harness (alto and tenor sax), Colby Fore (alto sax), Levi Snowden (bass), Austin Franklin (keys and percussion), Eric Diaz (trumpet) and Tonalta’s very own, Keith Walls (keys).

Anthony is excited to be working as one of the drum instructors at Tonalta. He looks forward to sharing the passion he has for drums and music with others. He believes the philosophy: “Music is the one language that transcends ethnic, social, and economic boundaries. Music is emotion.”



Blake Ashworth - Instructor

Pic and bio coming soon



Julian Breaux - Instructor. Julian is an accomplished musician. Julian started out as a Tonalta student almost nine years ago. While a student at Tonalta, Julian excelled as a guitarist and was selected to be in a number of Tonalta bands. Julian is also an talented trumpet player, playing in Port Neches Groves ISD band programs until his graduation. Julian is a well-rounded and diverse musician. In addition to guitar and trumpet, he also plays piano, drums, and bass. Julian's college major is Commercial Music with a specialization in songwriting and audio engineering.