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.

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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: bfrankl433@comcast.net

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.

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. 

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.

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.


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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.


 

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.

 


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.


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