Mansfield Summit Band Directors

Travis Whaley - Director of Bands

Responsibilities: Wind Ensemble Director, Marching Band Director, Marching Band Program Coordinator, Brass Coordinator, Color Guard Sponsor, Finances, Fundraising, Spring Trip, Weekly Jag Band Update, Student Leadership

Travis Whaley is currently Director of Bands of Mansfield Summit High School in Arlington, Texas. He most recently served as an Assistant Director of Bands at James Martin High School from 2019 to 2022 where he was charged with teaching the Warrior Marching Band brass line, as well as the second and fourth bands. Prior to Martin High School, Mr. Whaley was 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 and the Southern Nevada Band Association Sweepstakes Award since the awards’ existence. Under his direction the Liberty High School Band grew from 55 students to a program of three concert bands, two jazz bands, a percussion ensemble, dozens of chamber ensembles, two winter guards, and a successful winter drumline. Prior to Liberty High School, Mr. Whaley taught at Cannon Junior High School in Las Vegas where the program grew from 150 students, to over 300 students.

Mr. Whaley earned a Master of Education in Technology degree from Grand Canyon University in 2015, and Bachelor of Music Education degree 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 the National Association of Music Education (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. After his age out, he has traveled almost every summer with the corps as a tour manager.

Outside of school, Mr. Whaley has taught private trombone lessons, written marching band drill, fights a crippling Cheez-it addiction, enjoys a gratuitous amount of couch time with his two pugs Puglee and Goomba, probably has a current DIY project happening to his house, and will talk about Star Trek anywhere at any time.

Email Mr. Whaley at

Beth Hermanson - Associate Director of Bands

Responsibilities: Symphonic Band Director, Concert Band Director, Woodwind Coordinator, Uniforms, Instrument Inventory, Lockers, Private Lesson Staff Coordinator, March-A-Thon, Solo and Ensemble Contest,

Ms. Hermanson is the Associate Director of Bands at Summit High School in Mansfield ISD. Before coming to Summit, Ms. Hermanson taught in the Deer Valley Unified School District in Phoenix, Arizona for 10 years. She started her career teaching elementary band at Bellair and Mountain Shadows for 2 years. After going full time at Bellair for one year teaching K-6 general music, band, and choir, she decided to make the move the middle school and taught Band, Choir, Orchestra and General Music at Deer Valley Middle School for 7 years.  In addition, Ms. Hermanson was the Assistant Marching Band Director at Barry Goldwater High School for 8 years where she taught marching band and was actively involved in the Winterguard and Indoor Percussion ensembles.Ms. Hermanson holds a Masters in Wind Band Conducting from Texas Tech University in 2022 where she studied with Dr. Sarah McKoin and a Bachelor of Music Education from Northern Arizona University in 2010 where she studied euphonium with Pete Vivona, David Vining, Christian Carichner, Dr. Kent Eshelman, and Dr. Alex Lapins. Ms. Hermanson played euphonium in the top performing wind ensemble at NAU for four years but also played trombone and tuba in various performing ensembles at NAU. At Texas Tech, Ms. Hermanson as inducted into Pi Kappa Lambda, a Music Honors Society. In her undergrad, she was a member of Sigma Alpha Iota, International Music Fraternity for Women, NAU’s collegiate chapter of the National Association for Music Education, and NAU’s collegiate chapter of the International Tuba/Euphonium Association. Ms. Hermanson served as president for both Sigma Alpha Iota and the National Association for Music Education chapters.Outside of school, Ms. Hermanson teaches private low brass lessons, is in search of every good coffee shop in the DFW area, and will talk more than you want her to about everything Disney and Harry Potter.

Email Ms. Hermanson at

Chad Solis - Percussion Director

Responsibilities: Percussion Director at Summit HS, Howard MS, and Cross Timbers IS, Percussion Concert Coordinator, Percussion Inventory, Transportation and Logistics, Marching Band Props, Forms and Physicals, Media

Chad Solis is the Assistant Band Director/Director of Percussion for Mansfield Summit High School. Mr. Solis grew up in Lewisville, TX and graduated from Texas Christian University. During his time at TCU, he was a part of the Horned Frog Marching Band, wind ensembles, basketball band, steel band, and the award-winning Percussion Orchestra.

Before coming to Mansfield Summit High School, Mr. Solis was the Director of Percussion at John Horn High School in Mesquite, TX for three years. Under his direction, the John Horn Jaguar Drumline won several awards including 1st place in their division at both the Lewisville Drumline Invitational and the Lone Star Classic Drumline Competition in 2021.

Prior to John Horn High School, Mr. Solis was an Assistant Band Director/Director of Percussion at Castleberry High School. While at Castleberry, the band qualified for UIL State Marching Contest in 2018 and the Drumline won best percussion at two local contests. The Sub Non-Varsity band also earned Sweepstakes under his direction.

Before becoming a Percussion Director, Mr. Solis taught with several award-winning programs including Lewisville HS, Byron Nelson HS, Little Elm HS, Creekview HS, and Kaufman HS. His students have earned spots in the All-District, All-Region and All-State Bands.

In his free time, Mr. Solis enjoys playing video games and spending time with his dog, Lucy, and two cats, Disco and Ruca.

Email Mr. Solis at


Katherine Navarro - Colorguard Director

Katharine Navarro is serving in her first year as the colorguard director for Summit High School (Mansfield ISD) and second year at Burleson Smith High School (Burleson ISD).

Most recently, Ms. Navarro served as the colorguard director at Rockwall Heath High School from 2021-2023. In 2021, the colorguard earned "Best Guard" in the 6A division of the Royse City Marching Invitational. In 2023, the varsity winter guard earned 3rd place in the Scholastic AA division of the North Texas Colorguard Association (NTCA) Championship. During those two academic years, her recruitment efforts led the guard's membership to grow from 8 to 28.

Prior to her position at Rockwall Heath, Ms. Navarro served as the colorguard director of McMillen High School (2020-2022). Under her watch, the McMillen colorguard won the "Outstanding Guard" award at UIL (2021), and the winter guard won 1st place in the Regional AA division of the NTCA Championship (2022). Ms. Navarro was also the colorguard director at North Forney High School (2015-2020). In 2019, the North Forney marching band went to the State Open Class Marching Band Contest for the first time in the school's history.

As a competitive performer, Ms. Navarro has experience in both Drum Corps International (DCI) and Winter Guard International (WGI). Her DCI history includes one summer performing with the Crossmen Drum & Bugle Corps (2012) and three summers with the Blue Stars Drum & Bugle Corps (2013-2015), all of which earned World Class finalist placements. Her WGI experience began with the Independent Open Class group, White Gold (2011-2013), followed by a promotion to the Independent World Class group, Black Gold (2013-2014). Following her time at Black Gold, Ms. Navarro was a cast member in the then-new Independent World Class group, Colorguard Theatre Dallas (CGT-Dallas), wherein she performed from the group’s inaugural year (2014) through 2017, during which CGT-Dallas placed 5th in the WGI World Championship. Afterward, she was hired onto CGT-Denton’s staff as a flag technician (2017-2020), and later became a flag technician for CGT-Dallas (2020), as well.

Her primary mentor is Danny Martinez (2011-present).

​Email Ms. Navarro at

TA Howard Middle School Band Directors

Kenneth Thompson - Director of Bands

Responsibilities: beginner saxophone, horn, director of the Wind Ensemble (1st band)

Mr. Kenneth Thompson is in his 18th year in education and beginning his 4th year as the Head Director of the T. A. Howard Middle School Band. In 2006, Mr. Thompson graduated with a bachelor’s degree from Texas A&M - Commerce in Music Education. At Commerce, he performed in the top Wind Ensemble as the Principal Saxophonist, jazz band, saxophone quartet, and was Drum Major of the Pride Marching Band.

Mr. Thompson has a vast knowledge with high school marching band and drum and bugle corp. In 2003 and 2004, he marched baritone with the Southwind Drum and Bugle, and after meeting the age limit, he spent three seasons as a staff member with the Southwind Drum and Bugle Corps. As a staff member, Mr. Thompson was an instructor of both the visual and brass staff and later joined the Memphis Sound Drum and Bugle Corps as a caption head for two seasons.

Prior to working at T.A. Howard Middle School, Mr. Thompson began working as a band director in Duncanville ISD, where he conducted the Kennemer Symphonic II band. He assisted with the Kennemer Symphonic 1 band, which placed 10th in the state at the Texas State Honor Band competition. Mr. Thompson also worked with the Duncanville High School marching band which qualified for the state marching contest every year since 1988. Following his time in Duncanville, Mr. Thompson became the Head Director at Reagan Middle School in Grand Prairie ISD for 3 years. While at Reagan Mr. Thompson was named the district’s Secondary Teacher of the Year. Mr. Thompson’s bands have consistently earned Superior ratings at UIL and various contests and festivals.

At Howard, Mr. Thompson teaches the UIL Varsity Ensemble (Honor Band), assists with the UIL Non-Varsity Ensemble (Symphonic Band), the sub Non-Varsity Ensemble (Concert Band) and teaches beginning saxophone and french horn classes. Mr. Thompson is extremely excited to continue working with the Howard family and looks forward to continuing his work with the Howard band students and parents.

Email Mr. Thompson at

Laim Gompf - Assistant Director of Bands

Responsibilities: beginner trumpet, trombone, director of the Symphonic Band (2nd band)

Bio coming soon!



Email Mr. Gompf at

Jayden Thomas - Assistant Director of Bands

Responsibilities: beginner euphonium, tuba, director of Concert Band (3rd band)

Jayden Thomas is the Assistant Band Director at TA Howard Middle School in Mansfield ISD. Mr. Thomas graduated from South Grand Prairie High School in Grand Prairie, Texas. He earned his Bachelor of Music Education from Texas Christian University, studying euphonium under Mr. Richard Murrow and Dr. Clay Garrett. During his time at TCU, Mr. Thomas participated in the Horned Frog Marching Band, Symphonic Band, Concert Band as a flautist, Basketball Band, and the Tuba/Euphonium Ensemble. In 2019, he served as a marching technician for South Grand Prairie High School under the direction of Michelle Ross and taught private lessons throughout Fort Worth ISD during his college years.

Prior to teaching at TA Howard, Mr. Thomas taught at Glenn Harmon Elementary and was the Fine Arts Academy Band Director at Cross Timbers Intermediate.

Mr. Thomas is an active member of the Texas Music Educators Association.

In his free time, Mr. Thomas enjoys producing music, playing sports, and watching the extended versions of "The Lord of the Rings" series. He also loves spending time with his cat, Ghost.

Email Mr. Thomas at

Stephanie Bonebrake - Fine Arts Academy Band Director - Cross Timbers IS

Responsibilities: beginner flute, clarinet, oboe, fine arts academy band

Stephanie received a Bachelor of Music and Master of Education with Administrative certification both from the University of Texas at Arlington. A band director for over 20 years, Mrs. Bonebrake was most recently a Data/Instructional Specialist for Mansfield ISD. In addition, Mrs. Bonebrake began her NTCA career in 1998 bringing her first Texas winterguard to compete. Since that time she has been an instructor of several units including Fossil Ridge and Summit High Schools, NTCA contest coordinator, contest host, board member, and launched the NTCA Circuit Administrator position in 2005. In her initial six year tenure as Circuit Administrator, the circuit grew from 120 units to over 200. She then returned to serve as mentor/consultant for the 2011 and 2013 seasons, and returned full time to the Circuit Administrator position in 2015. Now at over 360 units, Stephanie is looking forward to continuing serving the circuit alongside NTCA performers, instructors, directors, board members and stakeholders.

Currently she resides in Mansfield, Texas with her husband Brad and daughter Reagan. In addition to NTCA, Stephanie also serves as a Contest Administrator for Winter Guard International (WGI). Her professional affiliations include Texas Music Educator's Association (TMEA), Texas Bandmasters Association (TBA), Women's Band Directors International (WBDI), Tau Beta Sigma (TBS), and she is in the NTCA Hall of Fame Inaugural Class of 2013.

​Email Mrs. Bonebrake at

Brooks Wester Middle School Band Directors

Nathan Wood - Director of Bands

Mr. Wood came to Wester as Associate Director in 2003 and moved into his present position as Director of Bands in 2005. During his tenure at Wester, groups under his direction have earned the UIL Sweepstakes Award and “Best in Class” at invitational contests. The 2005-2006 Wind Ensemble and 2008-2009 Honors Band both advanced to the state level of the TMEA Honor Band Contest. Teaching responsibilities at Wester include the Honors Band, Concert Band Brass, Beginner Class, and Jazz Band.

Mr. Wood received a Bachelor of Music Education from Baylor University and a Master of Music in Trombone Performance from the University of Michigan. He has performed with groups including the Michigan Symphony Band, UM Symphony Orchestra, Baylor Wind Ensemble, Baylor Symphony Orchestra, Waco Symphony and Michigan Chamber Brass. As a music educator, he has served as Assistant Band Director at Gunn JH and Arlington HS in the Arlington ISD and as an instructor at the Baylor Summer Music Camps. While completing his degree at Baylor, he also taught band at a private school while teaching low brass lessons in several school districts. While completing his degree at Michigan, he served as a Graduate Student Instructor in the music education department and with the Michigan Marching Band. In addition, he also served as a music staff instructor for the highly acclaimed Plymouth-Canton Educational Park band program in Canton, MI.

Mr. Wood’s professional affiliations include Texas Music Education Association, Texas Bandmasters Association, International trombone Association, and Kappa Kappa Psi Honorary Band Fraternity. Mr. Wood and his wife Shannon have been married for 19 years and live in Mansfield with their sons Garrett and Jackson.

Email Mr. Wood at

Katrina Benecasa - Assistant Director of Bands

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 Wester, Mrs. Benecasa taught for five years at Martin High School, 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.

Email Mrs. Benecasa at


Troy Bell - Assistant Director of Bands, Asa Low IS

Bio coming soon!




Email Mr. Bell at