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.

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.

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, and Moshe Neumann.  She has done additional training in Suzuki Early Childhood Education and Music Mind Games, and is a former board member of the Suzuki Association of Indiana.  Tiffany has also completed teacher training in the O’Connor Violin Method and Wee Violin. She is a member of Orchestra Indiana and the Anderson Symphony 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.

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.

Laurel Meitrodt, Partnership Program Teacher

Laurel Meitrodt is from Wilmington, North Carolina. She is currently pursuing her Master’s degree in Violin Performance under the instruction of Dr. Yu-Fang Chen from Ball State University. She graduated from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro with her Bachelor’s degree in Music Education. There, she studied with Dr. Fabian Lopez and Professor Wendy Rawls. She has experience performing in many different styles including classical, old-time fiddling, and jazz.

Kroy Miller, Partnership Program Teacher

Kroy is from Scottsdale, Arizona. He started playing French Horn in the 4th grade. He received his Bachelor’s degree in musical arts  from Pacific Lutheran University, and he completed the coursework for his teacher’s certification from Rio Salado Community College. Kroy earned his Master’s Degree from Northern Arizona University in Educational Leadership. His Primary French Horn teacher was Gina Gillie. Kroy was a band director for six years. He is currently working at Ball State University as the graduate program and compliance coordinator for the school of nursing.

Abigail Best, Partnership Program Student Teacher

Abigail (Abbi) is currently a sophomore studying music education at Ball State University. Abbi is from Grand Rapids, Michigan where she began playing cello at age 12. It wasn’t long after that she discovered her passion for music education. Abbi has worked with a wide range of age groups in various settings such as community classes, private lessons, and summer camps.

Mario Laing, Partnership Program Student Teacher

Mario Laing, born and raised in Indianapolis, began playing the violin in the 6th grade through High school, where they found an interest in music. Mario currently is a junior year student studying Music Education (BME) at Ball State University under the instruction of Anna Vayman and has performed in settings such as opera, musical theater, and other freelance gigs when needed. After graduating, Mario has plans to teach a high school level orchestra.

Ella Moss, Partnership Program Student Teacher

Ella Moss is from Fort Wayne, Indiana. She started playing viola eight years ago at in 6th grade. Currently, Ella is studying Music Education at Ball State, with the hopes of becoming a middle school orchestra teacher. This is her second year at Ball State, and her second year working with the YSOECI.

Partnership Program Instructors

  • Myah Julius
  • Molly McCord
  • Katy Tenbarge

Board Members

  • Jen Holst, President
  • Annie Nichols, Vice President
  • Josh Matthews, Treasurer
  • Nikki Fan, Secretary
  • Tiffany Arnold, Executive Director
  • Matt Spieker, Artistic Director
  • Cindee Cox
  • Chandra Ford
  • Jacqueline Hanoman
  • Valerie Helms-Mejia
  • Elisabeth Ohly-Davis
  • Tracie Peck
  • Shanna Wenninger