directors

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Brad McCann is the Director of Bands and Director of Jazz Studies at James Martin High School. An Arizona native, Mr. McCann holds a Master of Music (Instrumental Conducting) and a Bachelor of Music Education, both from Northern Arizona University. He is currently in his ninth year of teaching at Martin. This is his fifth year as Director of Bands, and he previously spent three years as an Assistant Director and one year as a low brass private lesson teacher. Mr. McCann co-conducts the Symphony Orchestra with Jamie Ovalle. He also directs the Wind Symphony, Jazz Band, and Warrior Marching Band. 

Brad

McCann

Katrina Benecasa

Assistant Band Director Katrina Benecasa conducts the Wind Symphony/Concert Band and works with the woodwinds of the Warrior Marching Band. A native of DFW, Mrs. Benecasa’s love of music began when she was young, participating in an honor choir in elementary school, then joining band in junior high and high school. She served as a drum major in the LD Bell High School Blue Raider Band when they took the Eagle home from the Bands of America Grand National Championships in 2007, one of only four Texas bands to be named Grand National Champions since the event’s conception.

 

Before to coming to Martin, Mrs. Benecasa taught for three years in Wichita Falls ISD as an Assistant Band Director. Under her direction, the Freshman Band at Rider HS received its first ever sweepstakes. Prior to this, she taught in Springfield, MO, as an Assistant Band Director at Glendale High School, served as a marching tech at Kickapoo High School, and was an adjunct faculty member at Evangel University. Mrs. Benecasa received her Master of Music in Wind Band Conducting from Missouri State University, where she served as principal flautist in the Wind Ensemble and was inducted as an honorary member into Kappa Kappa Psi. She received her Bachelor of Music Education from Evangel University.

 

When not doing band, Mrs. Benecasa enjoys spending time with her ridiculously good-looking and talented husband Jimmy, snuggling her doggos Buzz and Hobbes, repeatedly tearing down and rebuilding her Animal Crossing island, and being better than her students at Super Smash Bros. 

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Kenneth Ragland

Kenneth Ragland, a native of Alabama, was both an all-state and jazz all-state trumpet player in high school. He graduated from the University of North Alabama with a degree in Music Performance and received his Master of Music in Jazz Studies from the University of Arkansas at Monticello. He was also a lead soprano/soloist for the 1998 Bluecoats Drum and Bugle Corps of Canton Ohio.

 

Before coming to Martin, Mr. Ragland taught for 9 years at West Mesquite High School. While there, his jazz ensembles won multiple grand championships throughout the state of Texas and is the only 4A jazz ensemble to ever win grand champion at the UTA Jazz Festival. He also taught percussion at Royse City High School and his indoor drumline was awarded grand champion of the NTCA standstill percussion division in 2012. In 2013-2021, Mr. Ragland taught at Naaman Forest High School. While there, the marching band won 7 marching contests in the DFW area. His non-varsity bands consistently earned superior ratings in both concert and sight-reading and the jazz ensemble also won several grand champion awards throughout Texas.

 

In his spare time, Mr. Ragland enjoys performing with his jazz group “Time & Space” at different restaurants and hotels as well as working out and playing in flag football leagues.

Lauren Bolton

Lauren Bolton is thrilled to be rejoining the Martin Band program. Mrs. Bolton is a proud Martin graduate, and is excited to be back at her alma mater. Mrs. Bolton has a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Texas at Arlington where she studied percussion with Dr. Andrew Eldridge and Dr. Michael Varner. During her time at UTA Mrs. Bolton performed in many ensembles including the UTA Percussion Ensemble, Wind Symphony, and Maverick Marching Band. Mrs. Bolton is a WGI bronze and gold medalist and aged out of the activity with Vigilantes Indoor Percussion in 2017 after performing with the ensemble for four years. In addition, Mrs. Bolton had the opportunity to perform at the Percussive Arts Society International Convention of 2017 and to commission and premiere Dustin Schulze’s Kateract for marimba.

 

Prior to rejoining the Martin Band family, Mrs. Bolton served as the Percussion Director/Coordinator at Paschal High School in Fort Worth, Texas. Under Bolton's direction, the Paschal Percussion program flourished, placing 3rd in the HEB Drumline Contest, 2nd at the Springtown Drumline Contest, and receiving best quad line and 2nd overall at the Lewisville Drumline Contest. In addition, Paschal Percussion was awarded the top 7 out of 8 spots in the 2021-2022 FWISD All-District Band and several spots in the All-Region Bands. Each year they host and perform in the annual Paschal Percussion Drumline Showcase as well as their Paschal Percussion Ensemble Concert. Most recently, Paschal Percussion competed at the 2022 TCU Percussion Ensemble Festival and was awarded 2nd place overall for their performance of Aether by Francisco Perez and 1st place overall for their performance of Truth or Consequence by Jim Casella.

 

Mrs. Bolton has been teaching percussion students in the DFW area since 2014. She has played an instrumental role in teaching the percussion sections at Arlington High School, Trinity High School, Kennedale High School, Southlake Carroll High School, Richland High School, and Paschal High School. Her private lesson studios have included the Arlington High School and Hebron High School clusters, and has taught many All-Region and front ensemble masterclasses within the Birdville, Arlington, Hurst Euless Bedford, Carroll, Kennedale, Grapevine Colleyville, Garland, Castleberry, and Fort Worth independent school districts. In addition to high school ensembles, Mrs. Bolton has taught several independent groups including Genesis Drum and Bugle Corps and Vigilantes Indoor Percussion.

 

Aside from being an active percussionist, performer, and educator in the DFW area, Mrs. Bolton is a proud Dynasty Educator and endorser. She and her husband love to travel, and some of their recent trips include Colorado, New Mexico, Hawaii, and Aruba. Mrs. Bolton and her husband Tanner are currently building a house in Fort Worth, Texas where they will live with their corgis Watson and Bailey.

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Josh Moore is the Director of Color Guard at Martin High School. His duties include teaching and choreographing the Color Guard for marching season/competitions as well as Winter Guard competitions.

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Josh Moore

All director photos courtesy of Terry Ip Photography | terryipphotos.com