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.


Creatively Speaking
9:39 am
Mon November 11, 2013

The Fun Fiddlers of Time for Three: Not Your Average Classical Music Trio

The musicians of Time for Three are (left to right) Zach De Pue, Ranaan Meyer, and Nick Kendall.

Three former Curtis students have been winning over audiences with their chemistry, virtuosity, and ability to think outside the classical music box for over a decade. Zach De Pue and Nick Kendall play violin; Ranaan Meyer plays double bass. Philadelphia composer Jennifer Higdon composed Concerto 4-3 with "Time for Three" (tf3) in mind.  WRTI’s Meridee Duddleston spoke with Meyer recently while the trio was in Utah to perform at a benefit for the Utah Symphony.

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Where Music Lives
9:47 am
Sun October 20, 2013

Music Lives And Evolves At The Philharmonic Of Southern New Jersey

Philharmonic of Southern New Jersey's Music Director Matthew Oberstein

In Voorhees, NJ, where a new music director forges a bond with an accomplished volunteer orchestra, classical music lives and grows. As the Philharmonic of Southern New Jersey begins its new season, an evolutionary process is underway. WRTI’s Meridee Duddleston reports.

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Creatively Speaking
8:54 pm
Sun October 6, 2013

The Business Behind The Music

In the early 1900s, royalties from sales of sheet music produced a steady source of income to composers and music publishers. But radio changed all that. WRTI’s Meridee Duddleston sat down with a legal expert to learn how.

It was one thing to sit at a piano in a parlor and play a Stephan Foster tune from sheet music propped up on a music stand.  But a broadcast of music over the airwaves was a different thing entirely!  The advent of radio as a tool for entertainment set the music industry on its heels and brought about new interpretations of copyright law, just as the digital age has done. 

MERIDEE DUDDLESTON: Collecting royalties from sales of sheet music could be controlled. But intellectual property lawyer Gary Rosen says making music available to everyone over the airwaves for free was as disruptive to the music industry as the Internet has been.  Back in the early 1900s, composers saw radio broadcasts as a threat to their creativity and livelihoods - a threat, Rosen emphasizes, that copyright law was designed to prevent.

GARY ROSEN:  Copyright is given, not as a gift to composers, but it’s meant to benefit the public by spurring creativity.

MUSIC: John Philip Sousa's The Washington Post
DUDDLESTON:  The music industry and popular composers like John Philip Sousa concluded that a radio broadcast was a public performance of their copyrighted works. They demanded that the radio industry begin to pay royalties. And they banded together to enforce their rights in a way that avoided a logistical nightmare.

ROSEN:  Their solution was to form this performing rights organization in which they pool their copyrights and then licensed them on what’s called a blanket basis.

DUDDLESTON: The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) was the first blanket licensing organization.  Rosen says blanket copyright licenses for radio have worked the way they were intended.

ROSEN: And the fact that a mechanism was formed to actually enforce that performance right and create an income stream for composers has had a tremendous impact on the quality and variety of American music – popular, jazz, classical.

Gary A. Rosen is the author of Unfair to Genius: The Strange and Litigious Career of Ira B. Arnstein

Creatively Speaking
4:13 pm
Wed September 4, 2013

Can You Hear Us Now? The Reverb Really Makes A Difference

Verizon Hall at the Kimmel Center

Lovers of classical music and jazz, musicians and composers, are acutely tuned in to the acoustics of a performance space. WRTI’s Meridee Duddleston looks at the acoustical demands of a concert hall.

Large performance spaces need to provide enjoyable listening experiences across many musical genres and forms of entertainment. That’s why varying the acoustics of a given environment is a threshold issue that makes a big difference.  Acoustical engineer and inventor Niels Adelman-Larsen has developed a new variable acoustic system for concert halls that relies on inflatable sound absorbers.

Where Music Lives
6:21 am
Mon August 19, 2013

Where Music Lives: At WRTI!

Jazz vocalist Joanna Pascale

Music lives 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.

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Creatively Speaking
7:30 am
Mon August 12, 2013

At Classical Concerts: A Whole Lot Of Coughing Going On!

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 recent research

Hiccups and sneezes are not a standard accompaniment to a performance of 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.

Economics Professor Andreas Wagener, who specializes in social policy at Leibniz University of Hannover in Hannover, Germany, reviews the research and outlines six motives for why there’s more than the usual amount of coughing during classical concerts.

Professor Wagener is the author of Why Do People (Not) Cough in Concerts? The Economics of Concert Etiquette - published by the Association for Cultural Economics International.

Creatively Speaking
7:16 am
Mon August 5, 2013

Science Of Jazz: A Mapping App Merges Art And Technology

Dr. Youngmoo Kim, director of Drexel University’s Expressive & Creative Technologies Center (ExCITe)

A smartphone app developed at Drexel University deconstructs music into discernible elements like tone, intensity, and rhythm, and facilitates a fuller way of experiencing a live performance. Drexel University’s Expressive & Creative Technologies Center (ExCITe) uses the “Science of Jazz” app to translate some of what’s measurable about music into visual form.  

Microphones capture sound and the app transforms it to images in real time: one for how sound waves reach different parts of a concert hall, another to approximate which notes musicians are playing on their instruments, and another to depict the pitch and intensity of each instrument.

Dr. Youngmoo Kim, ExCITe’s director, is behind the app, which he says makes the live concert more educational and meaningful. Limited to the iPhone - and used only for jazz performances so far - see how it works: 


 Audio FileIn these excerpts of Meridee Duddleston’s interview with Dr. Kim he describes synergy between art and science and creates a word picture of how the “Science of Jazz” Iphone app works. It was first demonstrated during a jazz concert at the Philadelphia Science Festival in 2012 and was further refined for another concert in 2013.Edit | Remove

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Where Music Lives
10:35 am
Mon July 22, 2013

Where Music Lives: At The Shore, Equidistant Between Philadelphia And NYC

Anthony LaGruth is artistic director of the Garden State Philharmonic

Music lives in Ocean County, New Jersey where the Garden State Philharmonic opens its arms to existing and future generations of music lovers, forging a classical path between the metropolises of Philadelphia and New York City.  Anthony LaGruth is the artistic director and conductor of the orchestra-in-residence at Ocean County College in Toms River, New Jersey.  The ensemble opens its new season on November 16th with Tchaikovsky's Fifth Symphony at the historic Strand Theatre in Lakewood.

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Where Music Lives
6:56 am
Mon July 15, 2013

Where Music Lives: High Above The Banks Of The Schuylkill In Laurel Hill Mansion

Laurel Hill Mansion

Among the seven historic homes in Fairmount Park that served as summer homes for the wealthy, only one is a regular venue for the kind of music their original inhabitants might have enjoyed. Chamber music lives at Laurel Hill Mansion where about 60 people can sit in an intimate room where the Concerts by Candlelight take place each June, July and August, and listen to music salon style. 

The musicians perform at the end of a beautiful room with a high ceiling and three tall windows overlooking the water.  The five-concert chamber series, founded in 1976, is run by the Woman for Greater Philadelphia, which maintains the East Fairmount Park mansion in Philadelphia’s Strawberry Mansion neighborhood.

All concerts are on Sunday evenings at 7 pm. Refreshments are also served.

Summer Schedule:

July 21 – La Fiocco
July 28 – The Copeland Quartet
August 4 – The Wister Quartet
August 25 – Allen Krantz, guitar; Shannon Lee, violin
Tickets are $20.  For more information and reservations contact: Barbara Frankl, 215-643-7923, or send her an email:

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.

Creatively Speaking
3:45 pm
Mon July 8, 2013

A Philadelphia Favorite: Composer Jennifer Higdon

Composer Jennifer Higdon with Beau.
Candace diCarlo

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.