Workshops & Lectures
Lifelong Learning Society, Florida Atlantic University

Updated September 11, 2018. Rod MacDonald also lectures for private organizations (see list of lectures)
and leads workshops for songwriters       

Course information on LLS website:   Boca Raton    Jupiter


Music Americana:
The Gift Of Popular Music

Instructor Rod MacDonald
Recipient of the LLS 2012 Distinguished Faculty Award

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 Herrmann 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.

1. At The Keys: Fats Domino, Dave Brubeck
2. The Singers: Gene Kelly, Dinah Washington
3. Blow That Horn: John Coltrane, Chet Baker, Thelonius Monk
4. At The Podium: Bernard Herrman, 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


Jupiter Campus
Course #F8T3
Place: Lifelong Learning Complex, Jupiter Campus, Donald Ross Rd
Dates: Tuesdays — 10/16, 10/23, 11/6, 11/13, 11/20, 11/27, 12/4, 12/11
Time: 3:45 p.m.
Fee: $80 member, $110 non-member; last four weeks only $40/60

(561) 799 - 8547 or click here

Boca Raton Campus

Course F384
Time: 4:30 pm - 6 pm
Date: Wednesdays, 10/3, 10/10, 10/17, 10/24, 10/31, 11/7, 11/14, 11/28
Location: Barry and Florence Friedberg Auditorium, Boca Raton Campus
Fees: $100 member / $130 non-member
Registration Info call  561-297-3171 or click here
        
    Biographical Information: Rod MacDonald began his career as a singer/songwriter in Greenwich Village in New York City in 1973. He has 21 songs in the Smithsonian Folkways collection and 11 solo CDs, including the 2014 releases "Later That Night" and "Big Tent" with Big Brass Bed. He performs at festivals and in clubs and concerts locally and throughout North America and Europe, and was named Best Local Acoustic Performer in Broward and Palm Beach counties by New Times, and one of the Ten Magnificent Musicians of Palm Beach County by the Palm Beach Post. An instructor with LLS since 2006, his previous series include Folksinging in Modern Times, The Great American Songbook, The Roots of Rock & Roll, and Mastery Of The Art.
Information on LLS website:   Boca Raton    Jupiter


The Songs Of Elton John & Billy Joel

with Rod MacDonald &
The Humdingers

Tuesday November 27, 2018  7 pm
Jupiter LLS Auditorium

Wednesday December 5, 2018 7 pm
Boca Raton LLS Auditorium

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 low-decibel tour through the lives, music and genius of these unique artists, as told in their songs.

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 US 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 twenty 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.”

Jupiter Campus
COURSE NO. F1T7       Time:     7 pm
Date:     Tuesday , November 27, 2018
Location:     Lifelong Learning Auditorium, Jupiter Campus
Info call  561-799 - 8547 or click here

Boca Raton Campus
COURSE NO. FPL12055       Time:     7 pm
Date:     Wednesday, December 5, 2018
Location:  Lifelong Learning Auditorium, Jupiter Campus
Info call  561-799 - 8547 or click here
Information on LLS website:   Boca Raton    Jupiter

The Songs Of Johnny Mercer


Thursday, January 17, 2018 Jupiter LLS Auditorium

The favorite songwriter of John Lennon, Johnny Mercer wrote some of the greatest lyrics sung by Louis Armstrong, Frank Sinatra, Judy Garland, Hoagy Carmichael, and many others, winning four Academy Awards. From the dreamy images of “Lazybones” to the wordplay of “Jeepers Creepers”, from the barstool weariness of “One For My Baby” to the wary manifesto “That’s Life,” he topped the charts and radio waves with witty, soulful and insightful lyrics, co-written with top composers of his time. Today, the Songwriters Hall Of Fame calls its top honor The Johnny Mercer Award, remembering the “Man Of A Thousand Songs,” his work as popular as ever.
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, 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 US 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 twenty 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.”


Jupiter Campus
COURSE NO.        Time:     7 pm
Date:     Tuesday , November 27, 2018
Location:     Lifelong Learning Auditorium, Jupiter Campus
Info call  561-799 - 8547 or click here




Lectures
lectures at community associations and libraries...recent topics have included live performance/lectures such as "Songs of Greenwich Village" (solo),  "The Life & Times of Bob Dylan," (solo or with Big Brass Bed), and "The Search for the Birth of Rock & Roll"
(solo or with The Humdingers)
.....Lectures using dvds and video materials include "The Beatles: Coming to America," "Cole Porter/Johnny Mercer," "Frank Sinatra" and many other topics. To see a list of lectures, click here.

Songwriting Workshops
"Songwriting For Self Expression" and "Songwriting & Current Events" are for beginning thru advanced songwriters, to inspire and sharpen each writer's skill and ability to express oneself. At the New York Open Center, the Amp Shop in West Palm Beach, Common Ground on the Hill, the Southeast Unitarian-Universalist Summer Institute, the Endicott (NY) Arts Center, S Florida Folk Festival, etc, from one session to several, sometimes one evening a week.

Here's a recent article in Binghamton, NY: