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.

Pages

Creatively Speaking
12:08 pm
Tue October 7, 2014

The Famous Letter That Beethoven Wrote, about His Life and Art, at Age 31

Ludwig van Beethoven, overwhelmed with his loss of hearing, wrote a letter to his brothers in 1802 while resting in Heiligenstadt, Austria.

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.”

Read more
Creatively Speaking
6:02 am
Mon September 29, 2014

Celebrating C.P.E. Bach: The Sentimental Rebel

Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach (March 8, 1714 – December 14, 1788)

J.S. Bach’s second-surviving son, Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach (1714-1788), was a musical force in his own right. His fame, at least after the mid-1700s, overshadowed that of his now-legendary father. This year, six German cities with ties to C.P.E.’s musical footprint in Hamburg, Berlin, Frankfurt (Oder), Leipzig, Potsdam, and Weimar are leading a celebration of the 300th anniversary of his birth.   

Read more
Creatively Speaking
3:24 pm
Mon September 15, 2014

A Queerly Cool Jazz Festival in Philadelphia

Composer, arranger, and pianist Billy Strayhorn was an openly gay black man living in New York City in the 1930s, which took much courage. His "Lush Life" explores that experience.

The William Way LGBT Community Center in Philadelphia first imagined the nation’s first LGBT Jazz Festival last year. And over the course of the year, the city, and the city’s jazz community - including the Philadelphia Jazz Project and Ars Nova Workshop - signed on.

Read more
Creatively Speaking
6:02 am
Mon August 25, 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.

Read more
Creatively Speaking
11:50 am
Tue August 5, 2014

A Whole Lot Of Coughing Going On At Classical Concerts

Why do people cough during classical music concerts? Is it a physical reflex, or is there something else going on? WRTI’s Meridee Duddleston takes a look at some research.

Hiccups and sneezes are not standard accompaniments to classical music. But when was the last time a live performance was free of coughing? At a classical music concert, rules of etiquette demand silent immersion in the music - no cell phones or texting of course, no talking, and a limited array of acceptable responses to the performance.

Read more
Creatively Speaking
1:29 pm
Tue July 29, 2014

Appalachian Spring Eternal: The Story Behind "Ballet for Martha"

Erick Hawkins in the first production of Appalachian Spring, 1944. In the background, left to right: the four Followers, Martha Graham, May O'Donnell
Library of Congress

In the midst of World War II, a collaboration between choreographer Martha Graham and composer Aaron Copland gave birth to an enduring American classic. WRTI’s Meridee Duddleston hears Appalachian Spring in a new way.

Read more
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

Read more
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.

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.

Read more
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. 

Read more

Pages