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

Music Americana: In Search of Greatness 3

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 imitated, but never surpassed and their triumphs and losses are brilliantly conveyed through their music. From the royal swing of the Duke to the soulful blues of Van Morrison; from the quiet warmth of Johnny Mathis to the buoyant pop of Alicia Keys; from the legendary classicism of Segovia and Horowitz to the soaring lyricism of Leonard Cohen, 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. By Request - Duke Ellington, Eddie Cantor, Jimmy Durante
  2. The Giants - Andrés Segovia, Vladimir Horowitz
  3. Classic Voices - Sarah Vaughan, Johnny Mathis
  4. Truth to Power - Peter, Paul and Mary, Harry Chapin
  5. How Can I Keep From Singing - Barbra Streisand, Carly Simon
  6. Into the Mystic - George Harrison, Van Morrison
  7. Religion on Broadway - Fiddler on The Roof, Book of Mormon
  8. Poets and Muses - Leonard Cohen, Alicia Keys

Course # W8T4 — Full 8 Weeks
Place:Auditorium, Lifelong Learning Complex, Jupiter Campus
Dates:Tuesdays, January 9, 16, 23; February 6, 13, 20, 27; March 6 2018
Time:3:45 - 5:30 PM
Fee:$80 / member; $110 / non-member

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The Singer-Songwriters

As singers began recording their own songs in the 1960s, a new breed of artists emerged: singers who wrote their own songs. Inspired by folk, rock, teen music and their own lives, John Denver, Judy Collins, Joni Mitchell, Harry Chapin, Neil Young, Jim Croce, Jackson Browne, Gordon Lightfoot, Marvin Gaye and Tracy Chapman set intelligent lyrics to sophisticated music and ruled the airwaves with songs that have stood the test of time.

Join Rod MacDonald & The Humdingers for a fun and low-decibel tour through the lives, music and genius of these unique artists, as told in their 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 Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at FAU 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 # W1R1 — One Time Event
Place:Auditorium, Lifelong Learning Complex, Jupiter Campus
Dates:Thursday, January 18 2018
Time:7 - 9 PM
Fee:$25 / member; $35 / non-member

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 Last Modified 2/12/15