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Creative Leaps Presenters

the artists of Creative Leaps International

John J. Cimino, Jr.
Dianne Legro
Paul Spencer Adkins
Jon Klibonoff
Donna Wissinger
Richard T. Albagli
Krista Apple
Tom McCoy


John Cimino
is the Director of Creative Leaps International (1992) and founding President and CEO of its parent company, Associated Solo Artists (ASA), Inc. (1972). Educated at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (biology & physics), the State University of New York at Albany (learning theory), and the Manhattan and Juilliard Schools of Music (music & voice), Cimino holds a uniquely interdisciplinary perspective and works across a host of disciplines dedicated to learning and human development. He is an award-winning operatic and concert artist and has performed to acclaim throughout Europe and the continental United States in productions including LA BOHEME (Academy of Music, Philadelphia, opposite tenor Luciano Pavarotti, and LUISA MILLER (International Verdi Festival of Busetto, Italy, opposite tenor Carlo Bergonzi). As a champion of the arts in education and professional life, Cimino has brought his "Concerts of Ideas" and other innovative arts programming into projects of the White House, the Center for Creative Leadership, WDC's Center for Excellence in Municipal Management, and the leadership training programs of dozens of Fortune 500 companies, universities, and professional organizations. Recent projects include keynote presentations for: the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development; the Association for Managers of Innovation; the "Crossing Paths" Conference on interdisciplinary approaches to artist development; and the national conferences of the Academy of Management. He is a consultant to the national Arts & Business Council and other organizations on the development of arts-based learning in executive education, working to bring the arts perspective to his and others’ work in creativity, innovation, and lifelong learning.

Dianne Legro is a principal of Creative Leaps International and its parent company, Associated Solo Artists, Inc. A graduate of the New England Conservatory and The Juilliard School, Dianne Legro has starred in countless musical theater productions including the Broadway revival of My Fair Lady. She is also an accomplished recitalist, cabaret artist and opera singer who performs to critical acclaim coast to coast. Paralleling her work on stage, Legro completed advanced studies in Bioenergetics, Alexander Technique and Yoga applying these competencies to peak performance training, stress management, and leadership development in the business sector. Her dual background in theater and wellness sciences can be felt in the highly imaginative and engaging approach she brings to her corporate sector workshop Inner Balance.  Learn more about Dianne at www.diannelegro.com.

Paul Spencer Adkins is a principal of Creative Leaps International and its parent company, Associated Solo Artists, Inc. A graduate of West Virginia University, the University of the Arts and the Academy of Vocal Arts, Adkins, a winner of the First Luciano Pavarotti International Voice Competition, is today a leading tenor with opera companies and orchestras throughout the USA and abroad. He produced and starred in the PBS television special The Musical Legacy of Roland Hayes and has served as artist in residence at a dozen universities coast to coast. Paralleling his work on stage and in the classroom, Adkins has worked to open a creative dialogue on cultural diversity in the workplace and centers of learning. His seminar Of Color & Courage is a positively premised forum for candid, profound and progressive dialogue on this most important subject. Visit www.paulspenceradkins.com for more about Paul Spencer Adkins.

Jon Klibonoff is a principal of Creative Leaps International and its parent company, Associated Solo Artists, Inc. He is the company's lead musical advisor and orchestrator. A graduate of the Manhattan and Juilliard Schools of Music and a medal winner in Gina Bachauer International Piano Competition and Kosciuszko Chopin Competition, Klibonoff has established himself as a versatile recitalist, orchestra soloist and chamber musician throughout the USA and abroad. His recital appearances include concerts at the Metropolitan Museum in New York, Jordon Hall in Boston, the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, the Opera Comique in Paris, and the Villa Medici in Rome, to name but a few.

Donna Wissinger is a principal of Creative Leaps International and its parent company, Associated Solo Artists, Inc. A graduate of SUNY-Stonybrook and the Graz Mozarteum, Ms. Wissinger has performed at Carnegie Hall, the Glinka Capella in Leningrad, and in many cities across the USA and Europe. Paralleling her work on stage, Ms. Wissinger is a top performance athlete: a tennis pro, cyclist and long distance runner. Her athletic training is complemented by advanced studies of massage therapy and Alexander Technique. The cross-disciplinary transfer of habits of excellence from one performance domain to another is a keynote of her thesis and her personal life path.  Learn more about Donna at www.donnawissinger.com.

Richard Albagli is founding Vice President and Treasurer of Associated Solo Artists (ASA), Inc (1972). He is also a physicist, a percussionist, and a Principal Artist of Creative Leaps International; and his dual background in physics and music has been the cornerstone of dozens of projects linking the arts, sciences and humanities. He holds Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in physics from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He has also completed advanced studies at the Eastman School of Music, and has performed with the Berkshire Symphony and the Albany Symphony, where he is principal percussionist. Albagli is Musical Director of the Empire State Youth Percussion Ensemble, which has performed under his direction since 1984 to national acclaim (including performances at the Percussive Arts Society International Conference in 1998 and on the nationally syndicated radio show, “From the Top”). He has composed, arranged, and performed more than forty works for ensemble and solo percussion performance throughout his career, including collaborations with other ASA/Creative Leaps artists. He currently holds teaching posts at SUNY-Albany and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

Krista Apple is an actor and movement artist originally from Columbus, Ohio. Before relocating to New York, Krista most recently worked as an artist and educator with Columbus Children's Theatre and the Center Of Science and Industry (COSI). She is also a senior faculty member (Voice/Movement) at Northwestern University's National High School Institute. In Ohio, she was a member of Blue Forms Theatre Group and Red Herring Theatre Ensemble, where she appeared numerous times as a performer (Touch, Anna Weiss) in addition to producing unique award-winning theatrical events. Krista holds a Bachelor's Degree from Kenyon College in English & Theatre. Additional training credits include BADA (London, England) and The Ohio State University, as well as with artists from Theatre de Complicite, Ecole Lecoq, and the London Royal National Theatre.


Tom McCoy  studied piano with Heifitz's accompanist, Louis Greenwald, and later with Busoni-specialist Peter Armstrong. He studied composition with Richard Winslow at Wesleyan, where he also studied Javanese, Balinese and South Indian music. As a jazz pianist, he is mostly self-taught. He has performed at Town Hall, the Village Vanguard, Broadway, national television, NPR, worldwide, and has shared the concert stage with Ray Charles, James Taylor, Judy Collins among many others. His is on the faculty of the State University of New York, and co-founded Footlights Music Theater Workshop. McCoy's compositions include jazz and classical concert music, orchestral scores as well as the scores of two new musicals, An Orphan's Tale, which premiered in 1999 and Madame President.  He resides in Cold Spring, NY.

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