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

It's a novel, a film, an opera, and now it's the recently announced One Book, One Philadelphia selection for 2016.

The Free Library and the City of Philadelphia officially kicked off the yearly collective read, which will be the National Book Award fiction winner, Cold Mountain.

On September 22nd, the most well-known song in the English language was freed for use by all. Commercial enterprises will no longer be required to pay licensing fees or risk fines for violating the copyright claim of music publisher Warner/Chappell.  As of this writing, it’s unknown if Warner will continue to fight the case filed two years ago. Stay tuned.

First there was the audition. Then there was the waiting. Tryouts for the Papal Choir took place in July, and rehearsals began in early August. Each church was invited to send four of its best singers. Lynn Pupek, a first soprano, and Michele Sinnott, a second soprano, are sisters from different parishes who made it into the choir. They share a sense of participating in history.

Pope Francis will spend roughly 36 hours in Philadelphia, the most public stop on his trip in the United States. He arrives Saturday morning, September 26th, and leaves Sunday evening, September 27th. The Pope's visit will culminate late Sunday afternoon with Mass in front of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. A number of special choirs will be part of this immense religious event. David Kimock, music director at Saint Andrew Catholic Church in Newtown, PA, will lead the entire group and the Papal Choir.  

A mash-up of pop music and opera, ANDY: A Popera is a collaborative production of Opera Philadelphia and The Bearded Ladies (a cabaret company) developed over a two-year period. Its edginess and improvisation is a hallmark of cabaret, but it's also imbued with the spirit of opera.  


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.

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