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.
Travis Whaley is in his first year at Martin High School and was the Director of Bands at Liberty High School located in Henderson, NV since 2012. Under his direction the band has grown from 55 students to now include three full concert bands, two full jazz bands, two competitive winter guards, a competitive winter drumline, a thriving solo and ensemble program, and the largest Sound of Liberty Marching Band in the school’s history. All levels of the band program have received numerous awards and accolades during his tenure including consistent superior ratings with the concert bands, as well as outstanding music, visual, general effect, percussion, and guard with the marching band. The Liberty band program has earned the Southern Nevada Band Association Sweepstakes Award since the awards’ existence. This award recognizes superior ratings in both marching and concert bands festivals. Prior to Liberty High School, Mr. Whaley taught at Cannon Junior High School for two years where he also attended as a student many years before that assignment.
Mrs. Katrina Benecasa is excited to begin her first year as an Assistant Band Director at James Martin High School.
As 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.
Mrs. Benecasa received her Bachelor of Music in Music Education from Evangel University in Springfield, MO. Her studies granted her the opportunity to travel all over the United States with the orchestra and spend time touring in Germany, Belgium, France, the Netherlands, and the Czech Republic. She continued her studies at Missouri State University, also in Springfield, where she received her Master of Music in Wind Band Conducting. During her time at Missouri State, she served as principal flautist in the Wind Ensemble and was inducted as an honorary member into Kappa Kappa Psi.
Prior 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 received its first ever sweepstakes. While in Springfield, she taught as an Assistant Band Director at Glendale High School, served as a marching tech at Kickapoo High School, and taught as an adjunct faculty member at Evangel University.
Moises Carmona-Morales is the Director of Percussion at Martin High School. His duties include teaching percussion at the high school and junior high level at Young and Boles Junior High near Martin High School.
Casey Snead has been sharing his passion for the marching arts with his students since 2005, working with a multitude of locally and nationally competitive programs. He had the opportunity to perform as a member of the Cavaliers Drum and Bugle Corps and has been a multi-year veteran of Black Gold, both as performer and staff member. Moving forward from his performing career, Casey has worked with numerous WGI regional and national finalists including Forney HS, James Martin HS, S. Grand Prairie HS, Aledo HS, Ars Nova, and Black Gold. Along with a strong background in writing and designing indoor programs, Casey loves to combine the artistry found in WGI with marching band. He also proudly serves in the capacity of Vice President of Colorguard for the North Texas Colorguard Association, one of the largest circuits in the country.
All director photos courtesy of Terry Ip Photography | terryipphotos.com