Meridee Duddleston

News Reporter, Arts & Culture 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 news anchor and contributor to WRTI's arts and culture series, Creatively Speaking.

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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Creatively Speaking
6:00 am
Mon July 21, 2014

Jazz Is...Charlie Rice

Jazz drummer Charlie Rice

Steady work is a coveted and rare prize among many jazz musicians. WRTI’s Meridee Duddleston visits a force in the local jazz scene who never had a problem getting gigs. Recognized by Mayor Michael Nutter for his enduring contribution to the city’s jazz scene,  jazz drummer Charlie Rice has been keeping the beat for more than 70 years and counting.

Information about Jazz Bridge concerts at Collingswood Community Center

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Creatively Speaking
12:25 pm
Tue July 15, 2014

How a Mentor Inspired A Life In Music: Blanche Burton-Lyles Keeps Marian Anderson’s Memory Alive

Pianist Blanche Burton-Lyles, the first African American woman to graduate from the Curtis Institute of Music, was mentored by Marian Anderson.
Jessica Kourkounis

A classical pianist considered Marian Anderson’s protégé was the beneficiary of the opera star’s generous encouragement and wisdom.  As a child, Blanche Burton-Lyles lived in South Philadelphia near the home that Marian Anderson called her "dream home."  Anderson knew Blanche’s parents, and would invite the young prodigy to her home to play the living-room piano. It was a life-long relationship. And even in her later years, Burton-Lyles and Anderson kept up through letters after Anderson moved to the West Coast. 

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Creatively Speaking
6:00 am
Mon July 7, 2014

The Musical Treasure Trove At The Library Of Congress

Leonard Bernstein (1918-1990) at work in his apartment in NYC in 1947.
Photographic proof by Victor Kraft Library of Congress

A manuscript of a J.S. Bach cantata casts a new light on how Bach intended the piece to be played. A singer gains insight from a line in a Porgy and Bess manuscript that differs from the final lyrics. The Music Division of the massive Library of Congress in Washington, DC,  is a place where performers, composers, scholars and the general public make discoveries of the musical kind.

Case in point: in a series of letters written in 1957 to his wife Felicia, while she was visiting her family in Santiago, Chile, Leonard Bernstein faithfully chronicles the progress of West Side Story during the final weeks of rehearsal through the show’s out-of-town opening in Washington, D.C.  The letters reveal Bernstein’s changing emotions about the show from frustration and agony to his final state of euphoria.  In addition to comments about West Side Story, Bernstein writes about signing his contract as conductor with the New York Philharmonic, his upcoming thirty-ninth birthday, and how much he misses Felicia and their children, Jamie and Alexander. Read the letters here.

The Special Collections of the Music Division are truly fascinating and constitute a resource for musical scholarship that is unmatched anywhere in the world. These unique bodies of materials are extraordinarily vast and diverse, yet very much interrelated. They include some of the greatest treasures of the Music Division and the Library of Congress.

Excerpts of Meridee Duddleston’s interview with Senior Music Specialist Raymond White and Music Division Director Susan Vita.

Creatively Speaking
1:49 pm
Mon June 30, 2014

The President's Own: The United States Marine Band

President George W. Bush led the U.S. Marine Corps Band at the White House Correspondents Association Dinner in 2008.

One of the most prominent bands in nation, and the country's oldest, continuously active musical organization, is frequently heard on WRTI's weekday 7:15 am Sousalarm. WRTI’s Meridee Duddleston shares a glimpse of the U.S. Marine Band.

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Creatively Speaking
12:58 pm
Mon June 23, 2014

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.

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Creatively Speaking
12:28 pm
Tue June 17, 2014

Ouch! The Mortal Misstep Of The Sun King's Composer

Jean-Baptiste Lully (1632-1687), the influential French Baroque composer/conductor in the court of Louis XIV, had an unusual demise. Some conductors in the Baroque era conducted with rolled up scores.

Falling off the podium or into the orchestra pit weren’t the occupational hazards befalling French Baroque composer Jean-Baptiste Lully - but his was no less risky. Temple University Professor Steven Zohn, an expert in Baroque music, recounts the conducting move that led to Lully’s death.

Zohn says Lully, who first came to the attention of King Louis XIV as a dancer, profited from his relationship with the monarch - and his power over the musical facets of the royal court became wider and wider. 

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Creatively Speaking
6:00 am
Mon June 9, 2014

A Ballerina's Pointe-Shoe Paradise!

The Rosin Box

The artistry and athleticism of the ballet dancer can soar with a well-fitting pointe shoe. On a given weekend, members of three generations of the Jenkins family might be on the scene at The Rosin Box, a jewel-like shop on Sansom Street in Philadelphia, just a few blocks from Rittenhouse Square, where ballet slippers and pointe shoes are sold - and, where music lives.

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Creatively Speaking
11:51 am
Mon June 2, 2014

Teaching the Art of Listening: Temple's Steven Kreinberg Opens Doors to Classical Music and Jazz

The highest aspiration for those who teach is to do it in a way that transforms lives. Professor Steven Kreinberg, a faculty member at Temple University’s Boyer College of Music and Dance, reveals what happens in his popular course "The Art of Listening."  It’s a special kind of class that opens the door for college students to the world of classical music, jazz, opera, and musicals.

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Creatively Speaking
8:14 am
Mon May 26, 2014

Jazz Guitarist And Vocalist Jimi Odell: The Music Is You

Jimi Odell at home

A musician’s understanding of his artistry often deepens over time. WRTI’s Meridee Duddleston gets a perspective from a jazz man who’s performed for over a half century. Guitarist and vocalist Jimi Odell has been called one of Philadelphia’s best-kept secrets. And even though he wasn’t born here, local jazz buffs proudly claim him as their own. Now in his '80s, Odell bought himself a guitar and an instruction book when he was 19. Looking back he says it’s not an easy instrument to master.

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Creatively Speaking
11:08 am
Mon May 19, 2014

The Largest Sheet-Music Retailer In The World!

The J.W. Pepper building on Vine Street

Founded in Philadelphia in 1876, J.W. Pepper has a long history connected to its seminal role in the proliferation of music to bands, churches, choirs, orchestras, and school ensembles across the United States. Its publication of sheet music extends from the day of the town band, through the birth of jazz and rock, to the present.

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