Staff

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

Matthew H. Spieker has been a music educator for 25 years having taught all levels of orchestra and general music in U.S. school districts of South Carolina and Colorado, and from 2005 to 2007 Dr. Spieker taught internationally at the John F. Kennedy Schule in Berlin, Germany. In 2013 he worked at the University of Arizona, Fred Fox School of Music and in 2016 at Ball State University as assistant professor music 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 the German Sinfonie Orchester der Musikschule Lüchow-Dannenberg.

Dr. Spieker has also been a conductor and adjudicator throughout the United States and around the world including Arizona, Colorado, Utah, New Hampshire, New York and South Carolina, and in cities abroad including Brussels, Vienna, Geneva and Beijing. 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, music education advocacy, recruiting, motivation and more. He has presented at Arizona, Colorado and New Hampshire’s State Music Education conferences and nationally at the American String Teacher’s Association (ASTA) National Conference, Society for Music Teacher Education (SMTE), and the Midwest Clinic in Chicago.

Published articles include state music journals of Alabama and Oregon and nationally with NAfME’s Teaching Music and General Music Today. Dr. Spieker’s research interests include youth string musicians’ health, string pedagogy, advocacy, and music education history.

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

Dr. Spieker holds a Bachelor’s degree in music education from the University of Northern Colorado, a Master’s of Music Education degree from Converse College in Spartanburg, South Carolina, and a Doctorate of Arts degree from the University of Northern Colorado.

The best part of Dr. Spieker’s life is being a husband, father and now Grandad (or Grumps) to a loving and supportive family.

Matthew Cooperman, Conductor of Youth Symphony Orchestra

Matthew Cooperman is a master’s conducting student at Ball State University whose responsibilities include work with the Ball State Campus Orchestra and Ball State Symphony Orchestra. In addition to his Ball State duties, Mr. Cooperman is the conductor of the East Central Indiana Chamber Orchestra, conductor of the Youth Symphony Orchestra of East Central Indiana, and Assistant Conductor of the Muncie Symphony Orchestra. Mr. Cooperman comes from Columbus, Ohio, where he received his Bachelor of Music in Music Education degree from the Conservatory of Music at Capital University.

Mr. Cooperman has been a featured conductor of performances which include Schumann’s Piano Concerto in A Minor, Bernstein’s “What a Movie!” from Trouble in Tahiti, Sibelius’ Finlandia, and Copland’s An Outdoor Overture. During his time at Capital University, Mr. Cooperman served as Assistant Conductor for the Capital University Orchestra covering numerous rehearsals and rehearsed repertoire including Beethoven’s Symphony No. 1, Schubert’s Symphony No. 8 “Unfinished,” Bernstein’s Symphonic Suite from “On the Waterfront,” and Mozart’s Flute Concerto No. 1. Mr. Cooperman was a conducting winner of the 2013 Capital University Student Concerto Competition, and in the same year was a participant at the Conductor’s Collegium at the University of North Texas. His primary conducting instructors include Douglas Droste, William Boggs, and Jeffrey D. Gershman. He has done additional study with Edward Maclary, Barry E. Kopetz and Don Nathan.

Mr. Cooperman was selected as a Conducting Participant for the 2017 Oregon Bach Festival where he studied closely with Artistic Director Matthew Halls. Mr. Cooperman conducted the Oregon Bach Festival Baroque Orchestra and Chorus in a [re]Discovery Series Concert of the St. John Passion, working with distinguished guest artists including Charles Daniels, Peter Harvey, Sophie Junker, and Reginald Mobley. Mr. Cooperman also assisted Maestro Halls for the performance of John Tavener’s The Protecting Veil.

An avid composer, Mr. Cooperman has composed works for both large and chamber ensembles, and has conducted most of his premieres. In 2014, Mr. Cooperman was a composition winner of the Capital University Student Concerto Competition and was a featured composer at the Capital University NOW Music Festival in 2014 and 2015, respectively for his flute quartet, The Sweet and Sassy Promenade, and his work for full concert band, Coping Mechanisms. Previously, Mr. Cooperman was one of 14 students selected to attend the Young Composer’s Program at the Cleveland Institute of Music. From 2011-12, Mr. Cooperman was fortunate enough to study composition with respected American composer Donald Harris.

Christian Starnes, Conductor of Prelude Orchestra

Christian Starnes has been a secondary orchestra teacher for a little over a decade and is the orchestra director at the Burris Laboratory School. Additionally, he is an adjunct instructor at Indiana University Kokomo directing the IUK orchestra. He has been teaching private lessons since 1998. He is also an active performer with local groups including the Kokomo Symphony and Carmel Symphony Orchestras and has been on the Kokomo Symphony board of directors since 2015. Mr. Starnes holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Music Business from Butler University and a Master’s of Music in Music Education at Kent State University.

Heather Scott, Conductor of Prelude Orchestra

A native of Waterford, MI, Heather Scott began playing cello at age 10. In 2005 she earned a Bachelor of Music in Cello Performance from Ball State University, studying with Mihai Tetel, and then graduated in 2007 with a Master of Music in Cello Performance from Bowling Green State University, studying with Dr. Alan Smith.

She also learned from Paul Wingert of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Anthony Elliott of the University of Michigan, Robert deMaine of The Los Angeles Philharmonic, Tanya Carey of The Music Institute of Chicago, and the Pacifica Quartet.

She has played professionally with the Arkansas Symphony, Virginia Symphony, and Virginia Opera and currently performs with the Fort Wayne Philharmonic and Muncie Symphony. She has given individual lessons, taught string methods, and coached several university orchestras at colleges in Arkansas, Virginia, and Indiana. At present she teaches private cello lessons to students of all ages and skill levels.

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-certified violin teacher who teaches privately in Muncie, Indiana. 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. Additional chamber music studies were with Jeffrey Irvine and Andor Toth, Jr.

Board Members

Sarah Hersey, President
Elizabeth Driscoll, Treasurer
Tambra White, Secretary
Tiffany Arnold, Executive Director
Matthew Cooperman, Conductor
Matt Spieker, Conductor
Leonard Atherton
Tim Berg
Marian Cooley
Doug Droste
Jennifer Hollems
Jody Nagel