James Martin High School Warrior Band

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Babatunde Onibudo

Mr. Babatunde Onibudo is excited to be joining the Martin High School Warrior Staff in the fall of 2023! Mr. Onibudo is currently in his 17th year of teaching. During that time he served as the Director of Bands at Akins High School and Jourdanton High School. His responsibilities included directing the Marching Band, Wind Symphony, Symphonic Band, Full Orchestra, Musical Pit and Jazz Band.

Under the direction of Mr. Onibudo, the Jourdanton High School Band programs have been consistent UIL Sweepstakes recipients. In 2016 and 2017 the Jourdanton Marching Band placed 3rd in Division A at the Bands of America San Antonio Super Regional. The Jourdanton Wind Symphony recently won the 2017 3A TMEA Honor Band. During Mr. Onibudo’s time in Jourdanton, the Jourdanton High School performing ensembles and student performers have received multiple Best in Class, Overall Outstanding Performance, All-State placements, along with awards at various festivals and contests.

Since 2018 Mr. Onibudo, has been the Director of Bands at Akins High School in Austin, TX. During that time Mr. Onibudo’s bands have received numerous awards, advancement to finals and has produced multiple all state musicians. In 2019 the Akins Wind Symphony placed 6th in the Invitational Windband Festival at the Dallas Winds Festival, located at the Meyerson Symphony Center.

Mr. Onibudo, a product of Texas high school bands in Garland, was influenced to pursue music education in high school under the direction of Mr. Larry Schnizter. He then attended The University of Texas at Arlington, where he received his Bachelor’s degree in Music Education in 2006. Eventually he went on to receive his Master’s Degree in Music Education at Texas State

University in 2013 with the guidance of Dr. Mary Ellen Cavitt.

Mr. Onibudo is excited about moving back to the DFW metroplex to start this new chapter in his teaching career with his seven-year-old son, Isaiah, 10 month old daughter, Amária and his encouraging and lovely wife, Jennifer.

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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.

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Lauren Bolton

Lauren Bolton currently serves as the Percussion Director for the Martin High School pyramid in Arlington, Texas. Lauren 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. She 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, Lauren had the opportunity to perform at the Percussive Arts Society International Convention of 2017, to commission and premiere Dustin Schulze’s Kateract for marimba, and is a proud Dynasty Artist and Educator.

Prior to joining the Martin Band program, Lauren served as the Percussion Director/Coordinator at Paschal High School in Fort Worth, Texas. Under Bolton's direction, both the Paschal and Martin Percussion programs have flourished, making a name for themselves at many DFW drumline contests and percussion ensemble festivals.

Lauren 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 in the DFW area. In addition, Lauren 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, Lauren and her husband love to travel! They currently live in Fort Worth, TX with their corgis Watson and Bailey.