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
3:45 pm
Mon July 8, 2013

A Philadelphia Favorite: Composer Jennifer Higdon

Composer Jennifer Higdon with Beau.

Philadelphia’s Jennifer Higdon is among the most-frequently performed living American composers. Her works have been performed around the world and recorded on dozens of CDs. Higdon received a Pulitzer Prize in Music in 2010 for her Violin Concerto, a composition written for violinist Hilary Hahn and first performed by Hahn and the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra in 2009. 

The prolific Higdon is in the process of adding an opera to her extensive repertoire. The joint commission of The Santa Fe Opera and Opera Philadelphia is based on Charles Frazier’s Civil War novel Cold Mountain. It's scheduled to open in Santa Fe in 2015, followed by an East Coast premiere at the Academy of Music in February 2016. 

The Philadelphia Inquirer's David Patrick Stearns considers Jennifer Higdon's early development as a composer.
Jim Cotter explores how Philadelphia has influenced Jennifer Higdon's career.

Where Music Lives
7:17 am
Wed July 3, 2013

Where Music Lives: In A Jazz Past Resurrected

Looking south down 12th St. from Jefferson, 1951. John Coltrane’s apartment at 1450 N. 12th St. was on the right of the street, probably in the foreground
Phillyhistory.org City of Philadelphia, Department of Records

Philadelphia's jazz roots live in all quarters of the city. WRTI's Meridee Duddleston tracks the telltale signs of the city's jazz past, through a digital endeavor.

A worldwide and community-based history project, All That Philly Jazz aims to keep alive Philadelphia’s contribution to the nation’s unique art form. It's mapping Philadelphia's rich jazz legacy through crowdsourcing, featuring stories, information, and contributions from jazz lovers and listeners, performers, experts and non-experts alike. The All That Philly Jazz map is here. Watch the map take shape and learn more about breathing life into this walk through the city’s jazz history.

Meridee Duddleston meets All That Philly Jazz's Faye Anderson on at Broad and Lombard Streets - a spot once bustling with jazz traffic from two jazz clubs, a theater and a hotel, where performers stayed.

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Creatively Speaking
5:00 am
Mon June 24, 2013

What Do You Know About Handel's Water Music?

George Frideric Handel was born in Germany in 1685, and moved to Britain as a young man. He spent his most productive years there, and became a naturalized British subject in his early 40s.  His now-famous Water Music suites, commissioned for King George I for a ceremonial boat ride on the River Thames in London, were first performed during the summer of 1717. 

Five years later, Water Music was brought inside to London’s Stationers' Hall. But whether the audience heard just a portion, or the entire hour-long work, remains a mystery. WRTI’s Meridee Duddleston puts the well-known Baroque piece into perspective.

Steven Zohn, professor of music at Temple University's Boyer College of Music and Dance, adds context to Handel’s Water Music.

Where Music Lives
6:26 am
Mon June 10, 2013

Where Music Lives: At Bunker Hill Presbyterian Church In Washington Township, NJ

Martha Frampton is president of Music at Bunker Hill, founded in 2008.

Music Lives in Gloucester County, New Jersey, where WRTI’s Meridee Duddleston finds a concert series that focuses on bringing music to a previously underserved community.

A concert series in southern New Jersey’s Washington Township attracts top-notch performers from the region, across the river, New York, and all around.  The Music at Bunker Hill concerts take place in a church built on a high point in Gloucester County.

Starting with three concerts, the program has steadily grown.  Having just completed its fifth season, the Sunday series stands out as a breath of fresh air. The sanctuary of Bunker Hill Presbyterian Church is the venue for Music at Bunker Hill, and it's Where Music Lives.

Music at Bunker Hill Artistic Director William Frampton on the trials and tribulations of getting all the performers together for the concert featuring Choong-Jin Chang and Friends.

Let us know Where Music Lives in your community! Add your ideas in the comments section here and check out our other Where Music Lives posts.

Where Music Lives
8:26 am
Tue May 28, 2013

Where Music Lives: At LaRose Jazz Club and Wherever You Find Tony Williams

Tony Williams

Music lives at LaRose Jazz Club in the Germantown section of Philadelphia. That's where sax player and local jazz legend Tony Williams has a steady Monday night gig. WRTI’s Meridee Duddleston spends time with Tony Williams - now in his 80s - and finds out how this mainstay of the Philadelphia jazz scene keeps it fresh today and pursues his vision for tomorrow.

For over 35 years, Williams' Mount Airy Cultural Center has built a bridge to the next generation - through jazz. The 2013 Tony Williams Scholarship Jazz Festival is scheduled for Friday August 30th to Monday September 2nd.

Listen to a more detailed interview with Tony Williams and find out about his take on jazz, life, and giving back.

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Where Music Lives
8:00 am
Mon May 20, 2013

Music Lives In David Michie's Charming Violin Shop Off Rittenhouse Square

Music lives in a quaint, historic building on Philadelphia’s Locust Street, just a few doors down from the Curtis Institute of Music, where David Michie restores and sells violins and bows, drawing virtuoso musicians from far and wide. WRTI’s Meridee Duddleston paid a visit to this master craftsman.

Master violin restorer and dealer David Michie recounts how renowned French archetier (the French term for bow maker) Eugene Sartory policed the market for counterfeits of his work. Michie also provides some advice on choosing a bow in these excerpts of an interview with Meridee Duddleston.

Michie has much to say about the importance of a high-quality bow. "What the Italians were to string instruments, the French were to bows," he explains. In the 1800s, large blocks of wood from the pernambuco tree were used as ballast in ships making their way from Brazil to France.  And Francois Tourte, who developed the modern bow and is considered the “Stradavarius of bow makers,” took to the wood and started using it. Pernambuco is now an endangered species whose export is restricted. Although carbon fiber and other substitutes are now in the mix, Michie says nothing beats a bow made of pernambuco wood from Brazil. Here's the website for David Michie Violins.

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Where Music Lives
10:10 pm
Sun May 12, 2013

Music Lives In The Voices Of The Greater South Jersey Chorus

What does it take to make a chorus come together?  The pressure of an impending performance?  The skill and sensibility of a conductor? The intrinsic beauty of the music? WRTI’s Meridee Duddleston stopped by the Unitarian Universalist Church in Cherry Hill for a rehearsal of the Greater South Jersey Chorus as it strives for perfection.

This Saturday evening, May 18th at 8 pm, The Greater South Jersey Chorus performs Spotlight, a program of choruses and songs from opera, stage, and screen. The concert will be performed at The Roman Catholic Church of St. Isaac Jogues in Marlton.  More information about the concert.

Greater South Jersey Chorus Artistic Director and Conductor Dean Rishel led the ensemble for seven years in the ‘90s, and then returned in 2006. He says the chorus has been called the best-kept secret in Southern New Jersey. In these excerpts of his interview with Meridee Duddleston, Rishel sheds light on bringing the desired sound to life.

Let us know Where Music Lives in your community! Add your ideas in the comments section here and check out our other Where Music Lives posts.


 

Where Music Lives
6:03 am
Mon May 6, 2013

Where Music Lives: On, And At, WRTI

Jazz vocalist Joanna Pascale

Music lives on - and at - WRTI, where throughout 2013 we're celebrating our 60th anniversary. "The Diamond Sessions” - a series of classical and jazz performances recorded live before audiences at the WRTI studios, are just a part of these celebrations. The first session featured jazz vocalist Joanna Pascale who told WRTI’s Meridee Duddleston that, for her, it all starts with the lyrics.

 

Joanna Pascale also teaches vocals in the jazz program at Temple University’s Boyer College of Music and Dance. In this excerpt, Pascale shares her insight on breaking down the lyrics to create meaning, as well as her favorite lyricists and writing on her own.


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Where Music Lives
6:02 am
Mon April 8, 2013

Where Music Lives: At Bunker Hill Presbyterian Church In Washington Township, NJ

Martha Frampton is president of Music at Bunker Hill, founded in 2008.

A concert series in southern New Jersey’s Washington Township attracts top-notch performers from the region, across the river, New York, and all around.  The Music at Bunker Hill concerts take place in a church built on a high point in Gloucester County. Starting with three concerts, the program has steadily grown.  Now in its fifth season, the Sunday series stands out as a breath of fresh air.  

The sanctuary of Bunker Hill Presbyterian Church is the venue for Music at Bunker Hill, and it's Where Music Lives. Philadelphia Orchestra Concertmaster David Kim will perform there on April 28th at 3 pm.

Music at Bunker Hill Artistic Director William Frampton on the trials and tribulations of getting all the performers together for the concert featuring Choong-Jin Chang and Friends.

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Where Music Lives
5:00 am
Mon April 1, 2013

Where Music Lives: At Sandi Pointe Coastal Bistro

Sandi Pointe Coastal Bistro in Somers Point, NJ.

An annual Jazz@The Point Festival is a cornerstone for the Somers Point Jazz Society; but the nine-year-old organization also spreads jazz around southern New Jersey throughout the year. Lectures and student workshops regularly round out concerts and performances at local venues all around Somers Point. 

The Somers Point Jazz Society has helped put on a Tuesday night jazz series at Sandi Point Coastal Bistro for the last two years. WRTI's Meridee Duddleston stopped in recently on a show that featured Melanie Rice - vocals, Dean Schneider – piano,  accompanied by Tim Lekan – bass, and Bob Shomo – drums.

Nick Regine, President of the Somers Point Jazz Society on its mission.

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