Board & Staff


Dr. Matthew H. Spieker, Conductor of Youth Symphony Orchestra & Conductor of Intermezzo Orchestra

Matthew H. Spieker has been a music educator for nearly 30 years and has taught all levels of orchestra and general music in U.S. school districts of South Carolina and Colorado. From 2005 to 2007, Dr. Spieker taught at the John F. Kennedy Schule in Berlin, Germany. Currently, he teaches at Ball State University as an assistant professor of music education with an emphasis on string/orchestral education.

Dr. Spieker’s school ensembles performed several times at Colorado’s state music convention and received numerous superior ratings at large group music festivals. They also toured Germany and Austria and received wonderful reviews and created lifelong friendships with students and teacher at the German Sinfonie Orchester der Musikschule Lüchow-Dannenberg.

Dr. Spieker is a guest clinician, adjudicator, and an orchestral all state/honor orchestra conductor throughout the United States including Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Indiana, Utah, New Hampshire, New York, Wisconsin, and South Carolina. He also worked abroad in cities including Brussels, Vienna, Geneva, and Beijing. And since 2000, Dr. Spieker has been the conductor of the Internationales Orchester Camp in Lüchow, Germany.

As a clinician, Dr. Spieker speaks to issues concerning string pedagogy, classroom culture/environment, recruiting, motivation, and more. He has presented at numerous state conferences and nationally at several American String Teacher’s Association (ASTA) National Conferences, National Association for Music Education (NAfME) Directors’ Academy, Society for Music Teacher Education (SMTE), and the Midwest Clinic in Chicago. Dr. Spieker is also an Educational Clinician for Conn-Selmer (

Published articles include state music journals of Alabama and Oregon. National articles include NAfME’s Teaching Music, General MusicToday, Research Issues & Music Education, and Journal of Historical Research in Music Education. Dr. Spieker’s research interests include string pedagogy, classroom culture/environment, figurative language, youth string musicians’ health, and music education history.

Dr. Spieker has been involved with professional communities of ASTA (American String Teachers Association), NAfME (National Association of Music Education), IMEA (Indiana Music Educators Association), CMEA (Colorado Music Educators Association), AMEA (Arizona Music Education Association), AMIS (Association of Music in International Schools) and CMS (College Music Society).

Most current projects involve Ball State collaboration with the local Youth Symphony Orchestras of East Central Indiana in which pre-service teachers are gaining teaching experience by working with YSOECI. Also, both BSU and YSOECI are actively volunteering in the community by teaching string instruments to students at Motivate our Minds, which is an after-school program in the Muncie community.

The best part of Dr. Spieker’s life is being a husband to Roberta, father to Brittney and Lyndsey, and now Grandad (Grumps) to his grandchildren.

Tiffany Janney Arnold, Executive Director & Suzuki Instructor

Tiffany is Executive Director of the YSOECI, an organization in which she played violin as a student in elementary through high school. She also teaches the YSOECI Suzuki-based violin class for 5- and 6-year-olds.  She brings a lifelong love of the arts, a dedication to the community, and a background in business management, all of which combine to further the musical education of young people. In addition to her responsibilities with the YSOECI, Tiffany is a Suzuki-registered violin teacher who teaches privately in Muncie, Indiana. In 2020, Tiffany was awarded Studio Teacher of the Year by the Indiana Chapter of the American String Teachers Association.  Her Suzuki training (through Book 4) was with Nancy Jackson, Linda Stieg, Roger Stieg, Moshe Neumann.  She has done additional training in Suzuki Early Childhood Education and Music Mind Games, and is a board member of the Suzuki Association of Indiana.  Tiffany has also completed teacher training in the O’Connor Violin Method. She is a member of the Muncie Symphony Orchestra and performs with other orchestras in the area.  She holds a Bachelor of Music in Violin Performance from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music and a Bachelor of Arts in Art History from Oberlin College, and has completed graduate studies in business. Primary teachers were Gregory Fulkerson, Dorothy Mauney, Stephen Clapp, and Kathleen Winkler.

Carlos Hernandez, Graduate Assistant

Carlos Hernandez was born and raised in Miami, Florida. His passion for conducting sparked at the age of 14, and he has been involved in leading ensembles since. As an educator, Carlos has had the opportunity to participate in numerous outreach music programs in his community and internationally in both primary and secondary settings. Carlos has received three degrees in music from Florida International University; two in music education and one in orchestral conducting. Carlos is currently pursuing his Doctorate in Orchestral Conducting at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana. Additionally, Carlos is a flexologist, teaches Yoga and offers sound bath services.

Patricia Burton, Graduate Assistant

Patricia Burton is from Mesa, Arizona and started playing the cello in the 4th grade at her public elementary school. She received her Bachelors in cello performance and music education from Northern Arizona University and Masters in cello performance and music education from Ball State University. Additionally, Patricia is certified to teach Suzuki cello classes through Book 3, having received her training from Dr. Tanya Carey. Her primary cello teachers are Dr. Peter Opie, Dr. Mary Ann Ramos, and Dr. Catherine Lehr-Ramos. Patricia is currently in the first year of her Doctorate in cello performance at Ball State University.

Elisabeth Ohly-Davis, Intermezzo and Overture Conductor

Elisabeth Ohly-Davis is a veteran public-school orchestra director. Since 2000, she taught orchestra in four different school corporations including Weld County School District 6 in Greeley, CO, Northview Middle School in Washington Township Schools, Indianapolis, Carmel High School in Carmel, IN, and currently teaches at Burris Laboratory School in Muncie, IN. Her students gave acclaimed performances at CHSSA and ISSMA competitions, the 2014 and 2019 Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic in Chicago, and on tour in southwest Ohio, Orlando, FL, and Vienna, Austria. In addition, she teaches private lessons and summer camps. In 2020, she joined the teaching staff of the Youth Symphony Orchestra of East Central Indiana and the adult New Horizons at Ball State Orchestra, both in Muncie, IN. Mrs. Ohly-Davis writes articles for music educator journals and presents educational sessions at local, state, and national conferences. She plays the viola with the Orchestra Indiana and enjoys performing chamber music with friends. In her spare time, she hikes epic trails, raises alpacas, and knits with yarn from her farm.

Joey Krachenfels, Partnership Program Student Teacher

I’m a junior music education major at Ball State and I play the viola. I also play piano and percussion on the side as secondary instruments. At Ball State, I’m also the secretary of the Alliance for Disability Awareness for the 2022-2023 school year. Outside of school, I was also a member of the Bluecoats Drum and Bugle Corps for the 2022 summer season.

Partnership Program Instructors

  • Casey Imel
  • Myah Julius
  • Mario Laing
  • Micah Mrkall
  • Molly McCord
  • Ella Moss
  • Katy Tenbarge

Board Members

  • Jen Holst, President
  • Annie Nichols, Vice President
  • Tiffany Arnold, Executive Director
  • Matt Spieker, Artistic Director
  • Mya Ajanku
  • Cindee Cox
  • Nikki Fan
  • Jacqueline Hanoman
  • Valerie Helms-Mejia
  • Elisabeth Ohly-Davis
  • Shanna Wenninger