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-certified 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 3) was with Linda Stieg, Roger Stieg, and 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.  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.

Megan Simmons, Prelude at MOM Director

Megan Simmons is a junior at Ball State University studying Violin Performance with Professor Anna Vayman. She is from South Bend, Indiana and has been playing the violin for ten years. Since freshman year, she has worked with the YSOECI and is now a Prelude Director. This past summer, she was a camp assistant and concertmistress at Benefic Chamber Music Camp. She performs with the Ball State Symphony Orchestra and the Ball State University Camerata, and was recently credited on Sutton Foster’s new album “Take Me to the World.” She teaches private lessons and is the Ball State Orchestra Librarian. She loves teaching and performing, and is thinking about dual majoring in Violin Performance and Music Education for her master’s degree.

Whitney Twigg, Overture Prep Director & Intermezzo Assistant Director

Whitney is a violinist, violist, and vocalist who is currently studying instrumental and choral music education at Ball State University. Teaching music is her favorite thing because she loves working with students.  She has been teaching music lessons for seven years and has a thriving private studio.  Whitney also enjoys teaching classes with the Youth Symphony of East Central Indiana and co-teaching a Suzuki Early Childhood Education class. She has performed with various ensembles including, but not limited to: The National Honor Orchestra of America, Ball State Symphony Orchestra, and the Forza String Quartet. Additionally, Whitney has sung with several choirs at Ball State University and has performed with the Ball State Opera Theater Chorus for three operas and had a role in Suor Angelica. She really enjoys performing at weddings and in church.

Ian Elmore, Youth Symphony Assistant Director & Prelude at Ross Center Director

Grace Marshall, Prelude Director, Overture Assistant Director, & YSO Coach

Emily Wickline, Prelude Director

Radwan Khatib, Prelude Director, Prelude at Ross Center Assistant Director, & YSO Coach

Lydia Perry, YSO Coach

Sarah Stoutamyer, Prelude Coach

Ben Davis, Prelude Coach

Hannah Shaffer, Prelude Prep Director, Suzuki Assistant Director, Instruments Manager

Christian Zepeda, Prelude at Ross Center Assistant Director


Board Members

Lisa Carter, President
Jen Holst, Vice President
Scott Riggs, Treasurer
Tiffany Arnold, Executive Director
Matt Spieker, Conductor
Ian Elmore, Conductor
Cindee Cox
Louetta Dishman
Doug Droste
David Gilliam
Annie Nichols
Tambra White