Former Rusted Root drummer hosting local workshop

Jim Donovan, a founding member of the popular multiplatinum band Rusted Root, will be conducting the unique Drum and Chant: Transformation Workshop this evening at Soul-Full Yoga in downtown St. Marys.Anyone, regardless of musical ability, is invited to attend the workshop, which is taking place from 7 to 9:30 p.m. inside the yoga studio, located on the second floor of 19 N. St. Marys St. Beginners are warmly welcome and drums are provided, although attendees may bring their own if they desire. There is a cost for the event. "I want to host this class to help open people's minds to what yoga can be and to its benefits," explained Katie Weidenboerner, owner of Soul-Full Yoga. "What I love about this class is the way Jim takes his unique talents, shares them, and forms a communal atmosphere. Also, there is this energy in 20 to 40 people playing drums together that is something I remember to this day, and is something I really want to bring to people to experience."As a faculty member at St. Francis College in Loretto over the past six years, Donovan, 42, teaches a combination of fine arts classes and music classes with a personal development twist. He has released six solo CDs, in addition to numerous instructional drumming audio and video products; has written a soon-to-be-published inspirational book; and is a columnist for Drum! Magazine. He is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh, where he obtained a bachelor of arts degree in music, and is currently involved with graduate research involving using percussion interventions for special needs children.Donovan noted that drumming, the voice and visualization are ancient tools which people have used for ages in groups in order to connect, heal, celebrate and uncover the vital aspects of themselves."The kind of thing I touch on in workshops is significant personal development matched with very interactive practices, such as making music with others you don't know," Donovan said. "People learn to step out of their comfort zones and learn how to have fun."According to Donovan, his workshop is designed to give attendees the opportunity to "let go" of the outside world and focus inward.