Rod MacDonald

LLS Jupiter Distinguished Faculty Award 2012

Music Appreciation and Performance

Rod MacDonald began his career as a singer/songwriter in Greenwich Village, NY in 1973. He has 21 songs in the Smithsonian Folkways collection and has released 12 CDs of his own songs, including 2018’s “Beginning Again” and three CDs with Palm Beach County band Big Brass Bed. He performs in festivals, clubs and concerts locally and throughout North America and Europe and was named “Best Local Acoustic Performer” in Broward and Palm Beach counties by the New Times and “one of the ten magnificent musicians of Palm Beach County” by the Palm Beach Post. An instructor with Osher LLI at Florida Atlantic University (FAU) since 2006, his previous series include Folksinging in Modern Times, The Great American Songbook and The Roots of Rock and Roll.

Learn more about Rod at

The Songs of Elvis Presley

The most parodied singer in history, Elvis Presley had a great ear for songs, whether blending Memphis blues and rockabilly into rock and roll or finding new standards on Tin Pan Alley. From the raw power of “Heartbreak Hotel” to the tenderness of “Are You Lonesome Tonight,” from the longing for “One Night With You” to the get-down “Jailhouse Rock,” from “Loving You” and “Suspicious Minds” to a billion records sold, the songs of Elvis transcend imitation to stand above the crowd.

Join Rod MacDonald & The Humdingers for a fun and low-decibel tour through the life, music and genius of this unique artist, as told in his songs.

Rod MacDonald & The Humdingers:
  • Rod MacDonald, guitar, has 11 CDs of his songs, including 2014’s “Later That Night,” as heard on WLRN’s Folk and Acoustic Music. He performs frequently in South Florida and throughout North America and Europe, and is a lifelong devotee of popular song. He has been an instructor with LLS since 2006.
  • Bill Meredith, drums, is the backbone of several Palm Beach County rock and roll bands, including Big Brass Bed and Illumination. He has toured throughout the U.S. and Canada, and appears on more than a dozen CDs.
  • Brad Keller, keyboards, has performed at the Montreux Jazz Festival and with Maynard Ferguson and the Ink Spots, is the jazz piano instructor at Palm Beach State College and has taught music in Palm Beach County public schools for 20 years. He is also the co-author of the “Jazz Cats” books used internationally to introduce young students to jazz.
  • Doug Lindsey, bass and vocals, has been playing in South Florida bands for 30 years.
  • John Smotherman, lead guitar, plays with Big Brass Bed, Illumination and several Palm Beach County bands. His exquisite solos caused The Palm Beach Post to label him one of the “Ten Magnificent Musicians of Palm Beach County.”
Register Early! There is a $5 charge for registering on the day of a one-time lecture or event.

Course # WPW3 — One Time Event
Place:Auditorium, Lifelong Learning Complex, Jupiter Campus
Dates:Wednesday, January 4 2017
Time:7 - 9 PM
Fee:$25 / member; $35 / non-member

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Music Americana: In Search Of Greatness, Part Two

From sheer talent, pioneering a new direction or outselling all their rivals, a few artists are widely regarded as foremost practitioners of their art. Their songs are legendary through the years, their styles are imitated, but never surpassed and their triumphs and losses are brilliantly conveyed through their music. From the cool swing of Ella Fitzgerald and Nat King Cole to the raw emotion of Tina Turner and Adele; from the modernism of Pierre Boulez to the dramatic reimagining of Mozart and Alexander Hamilton; from the searing guitar of Jimi Hendrix to the soaring harmonies of the Beach Boys; from the hip lyricism of Johnny Mercer to the social content of Joan Baez and Bruce Springsteen, great artists inspire us in our time and set the standard for future generations of musical performers.

This course will examine the work, biographies and enduring importance of these musical artists and attempt to sort myth from reality, using updated videos and excerpts from feature films, live performances and a few surprises.
Eight Lectures
  1. The Legacy - Ella Fitzgerald, Nat King Cole, Natalie Cole
  2. The Songwriters - Johnny Mercer, Paul McCartney
  3. The Legends - Sam Cooke, Jimi Hendrix, Prince
  4. The New Classical Music - Pierre Boulez, Seiji Ozawa
  5. Truth To Power - Joan Baez, Cat Stevens, U2
  6. Women On Top - Tina Turner, Adele
  7. The Whole Story - Amadeus, Hamilton (The Musical)
  8. The Survivors - Bruce Springsteen, The Beach Boys

Course # W8T5 — Full 8 Weeks
Place:Auditorium, Lifelong Learning Complex, Jupiter Campus
Dates:Tuesdays, January 10, 17, 24; February 7, 14, 21, 28; March 7 2017
Time:3:45 - 5:30 PM
Fee:$80 / member; $110 / non-member

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 Last Modified 2/12/15