Dirksen Centenary Project

Richard Wayne Dirksen was born in Freeport, Ill., on Feb. 8, 1921.  In his 49-year tenure at the Washington National Cathedral he wrote over 200 works of music in varied genres, taught two generations of students and choristers at the National Cathedral School for Girls and St. Albans School for Boys, all while serving the liturgy and program of the Cathedral itself and participating fully in the cultural life of Washington DC.

In this centenary year we are celebrating Wayne's life and art with a variety of events, programs, and initiatives funded initially by this GoFundMe as outlined below:

-- The sponsorship of programs at the Cathedral and elsewhere featuring his contributions to the cultural life of mid-20th Century Washington, the changing liturgy of the Episcopal Church, and the worship life of Christian churches throughout the country

-- Encouragement and promotion of appropriate articles on his music and leadership in liturgy and the arts.  The Journal of the Association of Anglican Musicians  will dedicate editorial space for some of these in March and April 2021. ($500 honorarium for author) 

 -- The launch of www.RWDirksen.com, a comprehensive website and repository for his life and work including audio, video and sheet music download capacities as well as historical, biographical, and scholarly materials ($4,800 design / domain registration / editorial)

-- The preparation and dissemination of a full catalogue of compositions with annotations and archival performance materials ($1,800 editorial / printing)

-- The publication and circulation of previously unpublished works with an emphasis on his hymn tunes ($3,200 editorial / printing / postage)

-- Promotion and re-printing of previous publications ($1,000 rights research & clarification)

-- Fresh and definitive recordings, especially of the oratorio Jonah and the Fiery Furnace, written for the dedication of the Cathedral’s South Transept in 1962.

-- Encouragement for performance of his theatrical works, including the four Operettas written with his wife Joan Shaw Dirksen and his several liturgical dramas / liturgies

 April 1, 2021 also marks the 30th Anniversary of Wayne's retirement in 1991.  In addition to the expected Cathedral Evensong and gifts the celebration was the occasion for a reunion for StA / NCS Glee Club members who reprised numbers from the operettas.

The committee welcomes support and contributions in any form for appropriate inclusion in the festivities! 
Thomas Sheehan 
Heather Adelsberger 

Canon Michael McCarthy 
Elissa Edwards 
Richard S. Dirksen 
Geoffrey P. Dirksen 
Mark C. Dirksen 



Fundraising team: Dirksentenary Partners (8)

Mark Dirksen
Champaign, IL
Elissa Edwards
Team member
Geoff Dirksen
Team member
George Steel
Team member
Heather Adelsberger
Team member
See all

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