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.

Ways To Connect

Chances are that you're familiar with the names of some of the most popular French Impressionists - Claude Monet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Edouard Manet, Camille Pissarro, Edgar Degas - and some of their most iconic paintings. And chances are that you've never heard of the man who devoted his career to generating a market and public acceptance of their works.  WRTI's Meridee Duddleston has the story.

In its inaugural season, the Pennsylvania Philharmonic performed for 15,000 students in Pennsylvania’s many small cities and towns from Bethlehem to Pottstown, to Oxford, and York and points in between. In its second season (2015-2016), the orchestra will continue its mission of exposing middle schoolers to the magic of classical music. While some students will deepen their experience over last year, others will see and hear a full orchestra for the very first time. 

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. 

This past spring, the site of a weekly jam session celebrated a quarter century of making music in the shadow of the Vine Street Expressway. Now, as the informal jazz nights relocate from the 23rd Street Café to the Manayunk Brewing Company and Restaurant ,we return to Meridee Duddleston’s look at the friendly vibe that’s their hallmark.

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. 

Back in 1958, jazz drummer Art Blakey brought together ten percussionists, including Philly Joe Jones, to put his own spin on Afro-Caribbean rhythms. The result was Blakey's 1959 album, Holiday for Skins.

Howard Pitkow Photography

A former WRTI host stays close to jazz with an organization designed to extend its reach. WRTI’s Meridee Duddleston speaks with the founder of the Philadelphia Jazz Project.

Have popular “performance spectacles” replaced the straightforward dance between a jazz artist and an instrument? Director of the Philadelphia Jazz Project, Homer Jackson, is considering that question and innovative approaches to the performance of music that has often depended upon an intimate feel - and feeling.

From 2010 to 2015, composer and pianist Dave Burrell wrote 24 works inspired by his study of the Rosenbach of the Free Library of Philadelphia’s collection of Civil War documents and photos. The poems and lyrics of Monika Larsson also gave life to many of these compositions. Consulting with experts and scholars, Burrell and Larsson traced the route of Abraham Lincoln’s funeral train from Washington to Springfield, Illinois.

From 2010 to 2015, composer and pianist Dave Burrell wrote 24 works inspired by his study of the Rosenbach of the Free Library of Philadelphia’s collection of Civil War documents and photos. The poems and lyrics of Monika Larsson also gave life to many of these compositions. Consulting with experts and scholars, Burrell and Larsson traced the route of Abraham Lincoln’s funeral train from Washington to Springfield, Illinois.

The Heiligenstadt Testament, a letter and directive written by Beethoven to his brothers in October, 1802, is an important missive, opened after the composer's death in 1827. It depicts his pain and struggle: the diminishing hope that his hearing will improve, a feeling of growing isolation, and his commitment to his art, that utlimately saves his life. By the time he wrote The Heiligenstadt Testament, the already-acclaimed composer had spent six years, starting at age 26 or 27, searching in vain for a “cure.”

Even if you’re not familiar with the Broadway musical Carousel, you’re likely to have heard the uplifting message and melody of the song "You’ll Never Walk Alone."

Its roots in the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical extend far beyond the story of love and loss. 

Pages