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 www.rodmacdonald.net.

Music Americana: The Gift of Popular Music

What makes a song beloved, a performer celebrated? While popularity often comes from the right song and sound of the moment, artists seek the gift of expression, making music that lasts over time. From the deep groove of Fats Domino to the hypnotic soundscapes of Philip Glass, from the gripping Bernard Herrman soundtracks such as “Psycho” to the hip veneer of Kander and Ebb’s “Cabaret” and “Chicago,” from the urbane soul of Dinah Washington to the heartfelt belting of Linda Ronstadt, great musical artists create, orchestrate, play and sing the moods, the histories and the memories of our lives, one song at a time.

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. At the Keys - Fats Domino, Dave Brubeck
  2. The Singers - Gene Kelly, Dinah Washington
  3. Name That Tune - John Coltrane, Chet Baker, Thelonius Monk
  4. At the Podium - Bernard Herrmann, T-Bone Burnett
  5. The Golden Voices - Roy Orbison, Linda Ronstadt
  6. The New Broadway Musical - Kander and Ebb, Dear Evan Hansen
  7. Keepers of the Flame - Billy Joel, Tom Petty
  8. The Cutting Edge - Philip Glass, Laurie Anderson

Course # F8T3 — Full 8 Weeks
Place:Auditorium, Lifelong Learning Complex, Jupiter Campus
Dates:Tuesdays, October 16, 23; November 6, 13, 20, 27; December 4, 11 2018
Time:2:30 - 4 PM
Fee:$80 / member; $110 / non-member

Register Now

Music Americana: The Gift of Popular Music (Last Four Weeks Only)

What makes a song beloved, a performer celebrated? While popularity often comes from the right song and sound of the moment, artists seek the gift of expression, making music that lasts over time. From the deep groove of Fats Domino to the hypnotic soundscapes of Philip Glass, from the gripping Bernard Herrman soundtracks such as “Psycho” to the hip veneer of Kander and Ebb’s “Cabaret” and “Chicago,” from the urbane soul of Dinah Washington to the heartfelt belting of Linda Ronstadt, great musical artists create, orchestrate, play and sing the moods, the histories and the memories of our lives, one song at a time.

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.
Four Lectures
  1. The Golden Voices - Roy Orbison, Linda Ronstadt
  2. The New Broadway Musical - Kander and Ebb, Dear Evan Hansen
  3. Keepers of the Flame - Billy Joel, Tom Petty
  4. The Cutting Edge - Philip Glass, Laurie Anderson

Course # F4T4 — Last 4 Weeks
Place:Auditorium, Lifelong Learning Complex, Jupiter Campus
Dates:Tuesdays, November 20, 27; December 4, 11 2018
Time:2:30 - 4 PM
Fee:$40 / member; $60 / non-member

Register Now

Music Americana: The Songs of Elton John and Billy Joel

Rod MacDonald & The Humdingers

Two of the premiere pianist-singers in music history, Elton John and Billy Joel, have been making great pop music since the 1970s as the “Madman Across The Water” and the “Piano Man.” Dynamic performers and creators — John composes his music, and Joel writes his songs — they’ve sold more than 400 million recordings between them, from John’s “Your Song” and “Candle In The Wind” to Joel’s “I’m Movin’ Out” and “Just The Way You Are.” In recent years, they have teamed up for concerts and announced final tours, and with Sir Elton and Mr. Joel, winner of the Johnny Mercer Award for songwriting, “It’s Still Rock ‘n Roll To Me.”

Join Rod MacDonald & The Humdingers for a fun and lowdecibel tour through the lives, music and genius of these unique artists, as told in their songs.

About the band:
  • 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 Osher LLI 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. He 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, solo, and with 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 # F1T7 — One Time Event
Place:Auditorium, Lifelong Learning Complex, Jupiter Campus
Dates:Tuesday, November 27 2018
Time:7 - 8:30 PM
Fee:$25 / member; $35 / non-member

Register Now
 Last Modified 2/12/15