The Director of Spokane Symphony's Chorale, Kristina Ploeger-Hekmatpanah, is currently a Full Professor; serving as Director of Choral Activities at Eastern Washington University. Previously in Spokane, Kristina taught Choral Methods at Gonzaga University and observed student teachers for Whitworth University as well as teaching Middle School Choir at St George's School and High School Choir at West Valley High School in the Spokane Valley, and was Artistic Director of the Spokane Area Youth Choirs (formerly the Spokane Area Children's Chorus) from 2002-2015. Before moving to the Spokane area, she taught at Everett High School, Ephrata High School, and AC Davis High School.
A member of ACDA, NAfME, EWMEA, and WMEA, Kristina has served on the WA ACDA Board in the multi-cultural, children's chorus, university, and jazz R&S positions. She has presented numerous times for state and all-northwest MENC/WMEA conventions as well as seven WA-ACDA Summer Institutes. Directing Honor Groups and All-State Choirs in Washington, Oregon, and Kentucky has given her the chance to work with a wonderful array of choristers and directors.
She has earned degrees from CWU, and EWU; and is currently completing a DMA in Choral Conducting from the University of Kentucky where she studied with Dr. Jefferson Johnson and Dr. Lori R. Hetzil. In 2005, Kristina was awarded the "Arts in Education Award" by the Spokane Arts Commission of the City of Spokane. In 2009, she was awarded Spokane's "YWCA Woman of Achievement in Arts and Culture Award." And, in 2010 the Spookane Area Children's Chorus, directed by Kristina, won the "Arts Organization Award" from the Spokane Arts Commission.