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 the 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 since 2006, his previous series include Music Americana, The Great American Songbook and The Roots of Rock and Roll.

Learn more about Rod at

Music Americana: Music for the Ages

Pre-recorded Class

Creating music that lasts, a few artists remain celebrated through the years, their songs legendary, their styles imitated but never surpassed, their triumphs and losses brilliantly conveyed in their work. From the shocking symphonies of Stravinsky to the shock humor of “The Producers;” from Gershwin’s bluesified opera “Porgy & Bess” to the epic cool of Miles Davis; from the defiant passion of Edith Piaf to the working man’s poet Bruce Springsteen, great music and songs carry on the story of our times.

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.

This is a pre-recorded class. If you would like to ask the instructor a question following your viewing of the video, please email
Eight Lectures
  1. The Russians Are Coming - Sergei Rachmaninoff, Igor Stravinsky
  2. Blues And The Opera - “Porgy & Bess,” Ella Fitzgerald
  3. The Art Of Confession - Edith Piaf, Joni Mitchell
  4. The Swingers - Frank Sinatra, Harry Connick, Jr.
  5. The Horn Section - Miles Davis, Branford & Wynton Marsalis
  6. Smart Guys With Guitars - Buddy Holly, Paul Simon
  7. The New Broadway Musical - “The Producers,” “The Band’s Visit”
  8. The Legacy - Joan Baez, Bruce Springsteen

Course # W8T2 — Full 8 Weeks
Place:Auditorium, Lifelong Learning Complex, Jupiter Campus
Dates:Tuesdays, January 19, 26; February 2, 9, 16, 23; March 2, 9 2021
Time:2:30 - 4 PM
Fee:$100 / member; $130 / non-member

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The Songs of Bob Dylan with Rod MacDonald & The Humdingers

Pre-recorded Class

Once dubbed “The Voice of His Generation” by the press, Bob Dylan turns 80 in 2021, and is the only songwriter ever to win the Nobel Prize for Literature. From the Civil Rights-era anthem “Blowing In The Wind” through “Like A Rolling Stone” — #1 on Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Songs List — to Grammies in 1980 for Best Gospel Recording and 1998 for Album Of The Year, to a #1 song in May 2020, he has remained at the top of popular music for six decades, and shows no signs of slowing down.

Join Rod MacDonald & the Humdingers for a fun and low-decibel tour through the life, music and genius of this unique legend of American music, as told in his songs. Due to the Covid-19 policies in effect, this concert will be presented with Rod MacDonald accompanied by John Smotherman, guitar and vocals, and Bill Meredith, percussion and vocals.

This is a pre-recorded class. If you would like to ask the instructor a question following your viewing of the video, please email
Register Early! There is a $5 charge for registering on the day of a one-time lecture or event.

Course # W1W2 — One Time Event
Place:Auditorium, Lifelong Learning Complex, Jupiter Campus
Dates:Wednesday, February 3 2021
Time:7 - 8:30 PM
Fee:$35 / member; $45 / non-member

Register Now
 Last Modified 2/12/15