Workshops & Lectures
Lifelong Learning Society, Florida Atlantic University

Updated December 27, 2017. Rod MacDonald also lectures for private organizations (see list of lectures)
and leads workshops for songwriters       

Begins January 2018: Jupiter (T 1/9), BR (W 1/10)
Course information on LLS website:   Boca Raton    Jupiter




Music Americana:
In Search Of Greatness 3


Instructor Rod MacDonald
Recipient of the LLS 2012 Distinguished Faculty Award

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 bouyant 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.

1. By Request: Duke Ellington, Eddie Cantor, Jimmy Durante
2. The Giants: Andres Segovia, Vladimir Horowitz
3. Classic Voices: Sarah Vaughn, Johnny Mathis
4. Truth To Power: Peter Paul & 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




Jupiter Campus
Course #W8T4
Place: Lifelong Learning Complex, Jupiter Campus, Donald Ross Rd
Dates: Tuesdays — 1/9, 1/16, 1/23, 2/6, 2/13, 2/20, 2/27, 3/6
Time: 3:45 p.m.
Fee: $80 member, $110 non-member

(561) 799 - 8547 or click here

Boca Raton Campus

Course W384
Time: 4:30 pm - 6 pm
Date: Wednesdays, 1/10, 1/17, 1/24, 1/31, 2/7, 2/14, 2/21, 2/28
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 Golden Age
Of Singer-Songwriters

with Rod MacDonald & The Humdingers

Thursday January 18, 2018  7 pm
Jupiter LLS Auditorium

Wednesday March 7, 2018
Boca Raton LLS Auditorium

    Since the 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 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   Time:     7 pm
Date:     Thursday, January 18, 2018
Location:     Lifelong Learning Auditorium, Jupiter Campus
Info call  561-799 - 8547 or click here
Boca Raton Campus
COURSE   Time:     7 pm
Date:     Wednesday, March 7, 2017
Location:     Lifelong Learning Auditorium, Boca Raton Campus
Info call 
561-297-3171 or click here

Information on LLS website:   Boca Raton    Jupiter




Songs Of Freedom

with Rod MacDonald &
The Acoustic Band

Thursday April 5, 2018  7 pm
Jupiter LLS Auditorium
    From its beginnings as a British colony to the turbulent present, the people of the United States have battled to expand mankind’s freedoms from oppressive governments, religions, human slavery and poverty. And this struggle has been expressed in song: from the revolutionary War-era “Yankee Doodle” to the Civil Rights movement, from Stephen Foster’s “Hard Times” to the labor movement, and from “The Battle Hymn Of The Republic” to the anti-war 1960s and the fake news 2000s, singers and songwriters tell the story of freedom.
 
     Join Rod MacDonald and The Acoustic Band for a fun and low-decibel tour through the history, humor and passion of America’s freedom songs.
   
    Rod MacDonald, guitar, grew up in the Greenwich Village folk scene, and has made 11 CDs of his songs, including 2014’s Later That Night. Named Best Local Acoustic Artist by New Times, he performs locally in South Florida and throughout North America and Europe, and is an instructor with LLS since 2006.

    Bill Meredith, percussion, 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.

    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.”

    Bill Walach, mandolin has been performing traditional tunes since the 1960s in New England, and has collected Quebec fiddle tunes and recorded a cd of experimental music for mandolin and tuba. He and Rod first played together in 1973 in Connecticut, and appear together each St Patrick’s Day at Paddy Mac’s in Palm Beach Gardens.

Jupiter Campus
COURSE NO.        Time:     7 pm
Date:     Thursday, April 5, 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: