Lectures

Lifelong Learning Society, Florida Atlantic University

Boca Raton, FL
Location: Barry and Florence Friedberg Auditorium, Boca Raton Campus
Email: olliboca@fau.edu Phone: 561.297.3185

Jupiter, FL
Place: Auditorium, Lifelong Learning Complex, Jupiter Campus
Email: ollijupiter@fau.edu Phone: 561-799-8547

Course information on LLS website:   Boca Raton    Jupiter

Begins October 28 (Boca Raton), November 10 (Jupiter)

 4 weeks!

Music Americana:
The Music Of Modern Times

Instructor Rod MacDonald
Recipient of the LLS 2012 Distinguished Faculty Award

With melody, a sound, and a lyric, great artists find themselves on the leading edge of their own times. From the hip classics of “West Side Story” to the romantic teens of Motown; from the profound ramblings of Arlo to the insights of Sondheim; from the laid-back Jackson Brown to the spectaculars of Bocell, Shakira, and Grande, songwriters, musicians and singers tell our story in song. This series will examine the work, biographies and enduring importance of these musical artists, with videos and excerpts from feature films, live performances and a few surprises.

The Wisdom: Leonard Bernstein, Arlo Guthrie

The Motown Women: The Marvelettes, Supremes, Martha & Gladys

The Wordsmiths: Stephen Sondheim, Jackson Brown

The Next Wave: Andrea Bocelli, Shakira, Ariana Grande

Place:Lifelong Learning Complex, Jupiter Campus, Donald Ross Rd
Dates: Tuesdays — 11/10, 11/17, 12,/1, 12/8
Time: 2:30 p.m.
Fee:$100 / member; $130 / non-member
(561) 799 - 8547 or click here

Time: 3 pm
Date: Wednesdays, 10/28, 11/4, 11/18, 12/2
Location: Barry and Florence Friedberg Auditorium, Boca Raton Campus
Fees: $100 / member; $130 / non-member
Registration Info call  561-297-3171 or click here

The Songs of Ray Charles
& Stevie Wonder
with Rod & The Humdingers

Wednesday, December 2, 2020 Jupiter 7 pm

Wednesday, December 9, 2020 Boca Raton 7 pm

Pioneers of soul, funk, country and popular music, Ray Charles and Stevie Wonder brought their unique genius to such classics as “I Can’t Stop Loving You,” “Let’s Go Get Stoned,” and “Hallelujah I Love Her So”,  “Ma Cherie Amour,” “Superstition,” “Living For The City,” “You Are The Sunshine Of My Life,” and many others. Both superb and creative keyboardists, and Wonder a renowned harmonica player, their soulful and joyful music lives on.

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 12 CDs of his songs, including 2018’s Beginning Again, 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.”

COURSE NO. WNR6       Time:     7 pm
Date:     Wednesday, December 2, 2020
Location:     Lifelong Learning Auditorium, Jupiter Campus
Info call  561-799 - 8547 or click here


COURSE NO. WPL01074       Time:     7 pm
Date:      Wednesday, December 9, 2020
Location:     Lifelong Learning Auditorium, Boca Raton Campus
Info call  561-297-3171 or click here

The Songs of Bob Dylan

with Rod & The Humdingers

winter 2021

Join Rod MacDonald & the Humdingers for a fun and low-decibel tour through the life, music and genius of this legend of American music, as told in his songs.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 Civl Rights-era anthem “Blowing In The Wind” through “Like A Rolling Stone” --#1 on Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Songs List—to winning Grammies in 1980 for Best Gospel Recording and 1998 for Album Of The Year, he has set the pace with style and substance for six decades.

Rod MacDonald, guitar, has 12 CDs of his songs, including 2018’s Beginning Again, 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.”


COURSE NO. WNR5       Time:   8 pm
Date:    tba
Location:     Lifelong Learning Auditorium, Jupiter Campus
Info call  561-799 - 8547 or click here

COURSE NO. FPL12105       Time:   7 p
Date:    tba
Location:     Lifelong Learning Auditorium, Boca Raton Campus
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 12 solo CDs, including the 2018 release "Beginning Again". 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.

Past Classes

Music Americana:
A Lifetime Of Song

Instructor Rod MacDonald
Recipient of the LLS 2012 Distinguished Faculty Award

From sheer talent, breaking new ground, or outselling their rivals, a few artists are foremost practitioners of their art. Their work is legendary, their styles imitated, but never surpassed, their triumphs and losses brilliantly conveyed in their music. From the deep baritone of Paul Robeson to the crystalline harmonies of Crosby, Stills & Nash; from the Gulag-defying symphonies of Shostakovich to the rock operas of Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody; from the intense lyricism of Bob Dylan to the lyric soul of Nina Simone, great artists rise above their peers and critics to tell our story.

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. More Than a Song - Paul Robeson, Dimitri Shostakovich
2. Historic Voices - Marian Anderson, Maria Callas
3. The Words Of Poets - Woody Guthrie, Bob Dylan
4. The Great Story - “A Star Is Born,” “Bohemian Rhapsody”
5. The Great Story - Ray Charles, Stevie Wonder
6. The Sweetest Sound - Crosby, Stills & Nash, Rod Stewart
7. The New Broadway Musical - Bob Fosse/Gwen Verdon, Hadestown
8. No Time For Crying - Nina Simone, Mavis Staples

When the Beatles broke up in 1970, they were the top-selling band in history, and still are. The four members, not yet 30, then went on to successful solo careers, each topping the charts on his own. While George Harrison expressed his spiritual yearnings in “Isn’t It a Pity” and John Lennon tried to “Imagine” a different world, Paul McCartney became the biggest-selling songwriter of all time with such pop classics as “Live And Let Die,” and Ringo Starr led his All-Starr Band on “It Don’t Come Easy” tours.

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 12 CDs of his songs, including 2018’s Beginning Again, 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.”

Breaking in as a Nashville songwriter with hits like “Nightlife” and “Crazy” (the most played song in the history of American jukeboxes), Willie Nelson rose to popularity by transcending country music with his jazz-inflected guitar and such classic songs as “Blue Eyes Crying In The Rain,” “On The Road Again,” “To All The Girls I’ve Loved Before” and “Mama Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys.” A sophisticated musician and gentle singer, his multi-platinum album of jazz standards, “Blue Skies,” is among the top collections of the Great American Songbook.

Join Rod MacDonald & The Humdingers for a fun and low-decibel tour through the life, music and genius of this legend of American music, as told in his songs.

Rod MacDonald, guitar, has 12 CDs of his songs, including 2018’s Beginning Again, 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.”

To help us all through these times, these cds are $5 (minimum 2 cds/$10

No Commercial Traffic (NCT) / And Then He Woke Up (TWU) / Into The Blue (ITB) / Recognition (R) / A Tale Of Two Americas (TTA) / After The War (ATW)

---Songs Of Freedom (SOF), Later That Night (LTN), Beginning Again (BA), or archival cds/dvs are $10 each. "Live In Germany" (DVD)