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 currently an assistant director of bands and James Martin High School. Mr. Whaley is charged with the task of working with the brass players of the Warrior Marching Band, as well as conducts the Wind Symphony. Prior to Martin High School Mr. Whaley has been Director of Bands at Liberty High School located in Henderson, NV from 2012 to 2019 where the marching and concert band consistently earned superior ratings. While there, the Liberty band program earned the Southern Nevada Band Association Sweepstakes Award since the awards’ existence. Prior to Liberty High School, Mr. Whaley taught at Cannon Junior High School for two years where he was also a student for 6th and 7th grade.
Mr. Whaley earned a Master of Education from Grand Canyon University in 2015, and Bachelors of Music Education in 2010 from Northern Arizona University where he studied trombone with David Vining. While attending NAU, he held the position of Drum Major for the Lumberjack Marching Band for three years, was an officer of the schools’ chapter of NAfME , and was a founding member, Historian, and President of the Kappa Xi chapter of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia. He was a member of The Academy Drum and Bugle Corps playing baritone in 2008, and held the position of drum major in 2009, and 2010. Since his age out, he has traveled almost every summer with the corps as a tour manager.
Outside of school, Mr. Whaley teaches private trombone lessons, writes marching band drill, enjoys a gratuitous amount of couch time, has a current DIY project happening to his house, plays any “Sim” game on his PC, pets his beloved cat, Cat-Cat, or cuddles with his pug puppy, Puglee.
Mrs. Katrina Benecasa is 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