Meridee Duddleston

News Reporter, Arts Desk Reporter

Meridee began reporting in the newsroom at WRTI in 2003 while working toward a master's degree in journalism at Temple University.  Since that time, her duties have expanded to morning news anchor and contributor of weekly Arts Desk features.

A graduate of Hamline University School of Law, Meridee grew up in St. Paul, Minnesota, and practiced law before making a major leap into the world of journalism. She also holds a graduate degree from New York University School of Law and received a B.A in Political Science from the University of Colorado at Boulder.

In 2011, Meridee was recognized for outstanding public affairs reporting by the Pennsylvania Associated Press Broadcaster's Association (PAPBA) with awards for two News & Views stories. She received 1st place for "Baby Boomers Becoming Seniors: A Growing Population in Philadelphia," and 2nd place for "TUNE UP PHILLY: Classical Music Instruction as a Vehicle for Social Change."

Meridee can be heard weekday mornings between 6 and 10 am.

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WRTI Arts Desk
2:10 pm
Wed May 27, 2015

The Evolution of the Violin's Sound And Design

Theories abound about why the violins created in Cremona, Italy from the mid 1500s to the mid 1700s serve as the benchmark among masterpieces. Intriguing research by acoustics experts from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology might provide a clue. 

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WRTI Arts Desk
11:41 am
Thu May 14, 2015

'Charlie Parker’s YARDBIRD' Is Not Your Father’s Opera

Tenor Lawrence Brownlee (at left) sings the role of Charlie Parker in Opera Philadelphia's CHARLIE PARKER'S YARDBIRD, June 5 to 14 at the Perelman Theater.

A new opera tells the compelling story of an American jazz icon in a way that broadens and diversifies opera’s audience. Opera Philadelphia is in the midst of preparing for the world premiere of Charlie Parker’s YARDBIRD.  The role of Parker was composed by Daniel Schnyder with tenor Lawrence Brownlee in mind.

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WRTI Arts Desk
12:09 pm
Mon May 11, 2015

Graduation and Elgar's "Pomp and Circumstance"- What's the Connection?

Although you may not realize that it was first composed as a military march, you’ll instantly recognize one of Sir Edward Elgar’s most popular works, "Pomp and Circumstance, March No. 1 in D," - especially the nearly two-minute middle section so commonly associated with graduation.  

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WRTI Arts Desk
12:24 pm
Mon May 4, 2015

Your Brain On Music: The Science Behind The Pleasure

It’s no secret that a favorite piece of music can evoke profound pleasure and emotion. We've all experienced the “chills” response. WRTI’s Meridee Duddleston hears from a neuroscientist about the visceral and culturally conditioned effect of music on the brain.

For over three decades, Dr. Robert Zatorre of the Montreal Neurological Institute at McGill University has researched and broken down the complex set of interactions that occur when we experience sounds strung together to produce a full range of emotions - from the sublime to the soulfully sad.

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WRTI Arts Desk
12:58 pm
Mon April 27, 2015

Flowers, Fur, and Turtlenecks: The Fashion Statements of Jazz

Duke Ellington and his band wear wool overcoats and tailored dress to signify celebrity status, Los Angeles, 1934.
Bettmann/CORBIS

In the 1940s, when jazz singer Billie Holiday was at the height of her power and artistry, she always performed wearing at least one white gardenia in her hair. WRTI's Meridee Duddleston visits Drexel University professor and fashion scholar Alphonso McClendon, who looks at the meaning behind that statement and fashion in his book Fashion and Jazz: Dress, Identity and Subcultural Improvisation. 

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WRTI Arts Desk
1:37 pm
Mon April 20, 2015

McCoy Tyner Visits WRTI

Two legends! McCoy Tyner and Bob Perkins at WRTI on March 31, 2015

Mayor Michael Nutter and the City of Philadelphia invited jazz pianist and composer MyCoy Tyner back to his roots for an official recognition of his contribution to the city’s jazz legacy on April 1st. It was a wonderful way to kick off Jazz Appreciation Month in Philadelphia.

Born in 1938, Tyner grew up in West Philadelphia, played for John Coltrane’s historic quartet from 1960 to 1965, and then moved on to place his own voluminous stamp on the music, with ever-changing compositions, arrangements, albums and performances.

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WRTI Arts Desk
11:07 am
Mon April 20, 2015

Listen To This: The Dreamiest Chopin You've Ever Heard

Pianist Chad Lawson's "The Chopin Variations," performed with violinist Judy Kang and cellist Rubin Kodheli, presents the music of Chopin in a whole new way.

After being featured on NPR's All Things Considered, Chad Lawson's CD, The Chopin Variations, shot to No. 1 on iTunes Classical before it was even released in September, 2014. Lawson's interpretation of Chopin's nocturnes, preludes, and waltzes involves a surprising reconfiguration of the piano, and offers a sense of intimacy with the music that is likely new to most listeners.

WRTI’s Meridee Duddleston learns about the power of simplicity in her conversation with pianist Chad Lawson.

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WRTI Arts Desk
6:00 am
Mon April 13, 2015

Tuesday Night Jazz Jam Sessions at 23rd Street Cafe: Still Going Strong After 25 Years

Word of mouth is the way most people hear about the weekly jazz jam sessions at the 23rd St. Café in Center City.

Herman DeJong is an architect who came to Philadelphia from Holland in the mid 1960s. He played the bass and started connecting with local jazz enthusiasts. He wanted to find a place to invite them to jam. 

Eventually, in April 1990, the Tuesday night sessions began at the 23rd Street Café, thanks to the owners. Over the years, locals and people from around the country and the world have stopped in.

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WRTI Arts Desk
12:47 pm
Mon April 6, 2015

Obsessed with Jazz Tap!

Pam Hetherington and the Jazz Tap Quartet

Tap dancer Pam Hetherington says tap can be the visual representation of any kind of music. And jazz tap provides the opportunity for the dancer to reflect the emotions and story inspired by a live jazz combo. A choreographer and a teacher, she says she’s obsessed with tap’s percussive possibilities: hard-driving, soft and sweet, and in between.

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WRTI Arts Desk
11:27 am
Mon April 6, 2015

Keeping Up With The Aizuri Quartet

Left to right: Miho Saegusa, Zoe Martin-Doike (Violin '13), President Michelle Bachelet, Karen Ouzonian, Ayane Kosaza (Viola '12) and Curtis President and CEO Roberto Diaz
Alex Ibanez

Last January, Delaware Governor Jack Markell welcomed Chilean President Michelle Bachelet to the Port of Wilmington, a major entry point for fresh fruit from Chile. Bachelet's focus on trade also included a night at a sold-out dinner organized by the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce and its Chilean-American counterpart.   

Between the two stops, President Bachelet took a detour from the economic agenda, stopping at the Curtis Institute of Music. WRTI’s Meridee Duddleston was there.  

Radio Script:

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