- Richard Wayne Dirksen born February 8 to Richard Watson and Maude Logemann Dirksen.
- Boy soprano at Grace Episcopal Church, Freeport, Ill.
- First place solo bassoon in National Music School Competition, Columbus, Ohio.
- First place solo bassoon in National Music School Competition, Elkhart, Ind.
- Graduates Freeport High School, National Honor Society, Drum Major for 100-piece HS band.
- Declines scholarship to Hobart College in ministry; prepares with Hugh Price for scholarship auditions in organ at Curtis Institute (Alexander McCurdy)
- Awarded full scholarship to Peabody Conservatory, Baltimore, Md.; studies with Virgil Fox.
- January – hired as assistant to Paul Callaway at Washington National Cathedral
- June – graduates Peabody magna cum laude, enlists in US Army at Walter Reed Hospital; Serves as signalman & chapel organist and develops the in-hospital radio station.
- January 9 – Marries Joan Milton Shaw; Richard Shaw born October 12.
- Letters to Freeport – vivid accounts of those days in DC, including his first Easter at WNC.
- October – transferred to US Infantry; Jo and Rick move back to Freeport.
- May – shipped to Europe; war with Germany ends while crossing the Atlantic.
- June – August – Creates a traveling six-man show for troop entertainment throughout European Theatre of Operations.
- November – Returns to Cathedral to assist Ellis Varley
- March – Callaway returns to Cathedral beginning 22 year collaboration in Cathedral Music Department.
- RWD appointed Assistant Director and Accompanist of Cathedral Choral Society.
- Easter Day, March 28 – Christ Our Passover premieres at 11 am service; Chorale Prelude on Urbs Beata
- Geoffrey Paul born July 23.
- Hired by National Cathedral School for Girls and St. Albans School for Boys to direct joint Glee Clubs; Director of Department of Agriculture Chorus.
- Composed and directed Faith of Our Fathers for DC sesquicentennial; Instructor in Organ, American University.
- Christmas – Chanticleer written for NBC telecast.
- February 23 – Laura Gail born; Family moves to Bethesda, Md.
- Recording engineer for Haydn Society recording of complete Bach Clavier-Űbung; Director of Baltimore & Ohio Women’s Glee Club.
- As pianist recorded complete Beethoven flute works with Wallace Mann plus Bagatelles for piano, Opus 107, 105 and 126.
- Performance of all Mozart Violin Sonatas with Werner Lywyn at Philips Collection.
- 50th anniversary of the laying of WC Foundation Stone; Welcome all Wonders & Yet even now saith the Lord ; Operetta #2, The Houseboat on the Styx; A Child my choice first published work. See also 1957 Report to Chapter.
- Performance of all Haydn Trios with Werner Lywyn and John Martin at Philips Collection.
- Operetta #4 Tularosa; Music Director, Little Mary Sunshine at Olney Theater.
- College of Church Musicians opens ; Dedication of the South Transept – The Fiery Furnace.
- Operetta #5 Houseboat.
- Named Chair of Tower Dedication Committee and Business Manager for the Choral Society.
- And there was light address at St. Albans.
- Dedication of the Gloria in Excelsis Tower; Appointed Director of Advance Program with brief to dramatically expand the Cathedral’s offerings in all the arts.
- First Summer Festival (concerts and plays outside on South Transept steps); Play of Daniel ; production of Menotti’s The Unicorn, the Gorgon and the Manticore; Unicorn Fanfares and Sarabande
- First Cathedral Open House; First hymn tune CAMPAIGN; production of Britten’s Noyes Fludde; Glee Clubs Lessons & Carols on WTTG wins Emmy Award.
- Appointed the first lay Precentor in the Anglican Communion; conducts broadcast of Dave Brubeck’s Light in the Wilderness; Ravi Shankar plays at Ghandi Centennial Celebration.
- Summer Festivals move inside Cathedral.
- Plays pit organ for Bernstein Mass, opening of the Kennedy Center, sons Rick and Mark participate as well. First liturgical drama, The Conversion of Saul.
- Incidental music for Berthold Brecht’s Galileo.
- Years of liturgical change and innovation produce The Annunciation Story. WNC decides to complete the Nave for 1976, planning for year-long celebration commences. RWD Steps down as Precentor; renovation of Great Organ begins.
- 50th anniversary of parents Maudie and Dugan; Dedication of Dirksen Thanksgiving Stone in North Transept; Installation of Presiding Bishop John Maury Allin, Vineyard Haven.
- Music for The American Adventure, multi-media installation for US Bicentennial.
- Named Fourth Organist / Choirmaster and re-appointed Precentor; Cathedral in extreme financial peril.
- Honorary Doctorate from GWU; Te Deum “Grosse Pointe”
- Six hymns and two chants accepted into The Hymnal 1982; Three Songs of Isaiah.
- Installed as Canon of the Cathedral.
- Interim Director of Cathedral Choral Society, conducts Brahms Requiem; Six Choral Exercises.
- Residency at Church Divinity School of the Pacific, writes own paraphrase of the Gloria GIBBS HALL.
- Steps down as Organist / Choirmaster, begins planning for completion and consecration of WNC.
- September 28-30, Consecration of the Cathedral, Four services / concerts across 48 hours.
- April 1 – Retirement concert & Service and Reunion of Glee Club members to perform operetta selections. Mag & Nunc in F# minor.
- BARLEY written for American Guild of Organists National Convention, Atlanta, Ga.
- Guest at Evergreen Music Festival; When Jesus died to save us.
- Publishes Annotated Catalog
- January 27 – Joan Shaw Dirksen dies. Sing ye faithful
- Te Deum “Lexington”, Humbly, I adore thee for the Evergreen music conference. Both pieces are memorials to Jo.
- The Hymn Tunes of Richard Wayne Dirksen appears in the journal of the Hymn Society
- July 26 – dies at home surrounded by family and friends. Memorial Service August 26.
- Cathedral Choral Society announces Dirksen Endowment Fund to sponsor Third Millennium Christmas Carol Commissions