We provide musicians with the community and resources needed to integrate their Catholic Faith with their profession.
Our mission finds its foundation on our core values and is realized through the lens of our four pillars: Connection, Formation, Innovation, and Collaboration.
Our Core Values
WE ARE CATHOLIC.
We believe the Catholic Church is the Church instituted by Jesus Christ, and we are faithful to all the teachings of the Magisterium, handed down to us by Sacred Scripture and Tradition.
WE BELIEVE IN BEAUTY.
Fyodor Dostoevsky wrote that “Beauty will save the world.” We believe that Christ, as True Beauty, has and continues to save the world, and that He desires to bring the world to Himself through encounters with authentic beauty.
WE UPHOLD MUSIC AS A VOCATION.
To us, music is not a lifestyle choice, it’s not just a career, and it’s not merely a hobby- it is a vocation through which we can serve God. Recognizing this distinction, we nourish and support musicians in their co-creation with God the Father.
Our Four Pillars
It’s easy to feel isolated as a Catholic in the field of music if you aren’t working or studying in a faithfully Catholic setting. We seek to heal those feelings of isolation through providing you with the tools to form authentic connections with other like-minded musicians, online and in person.
The aim of the pillar of formation is to inspire and deepen the faith of musicians. It can be tough to grow in your faith while working in an environment that doesn’t understand or support what you believe. We aim to foster the spiritual lives of musicians, so that in becoming the most virtuous people we can be, we can also grow into the best musicians we can be.
The aim of the pillar of innovation is to lead the way in creating music of all genres to spread the Beauty of God. For centuries, the Catholic Church paved the way for the development of music, focusing first and foremost on music that honors God. We want to continue this great musical tradition of the Church, and foster the creation of new music for God’s glory.
The aim of the pillar of collaboration is to bring musicians together in order to execute their own innovative ideas. Made in the Image and Likeness of a trinitarian God, we know that we were made to experience life with each other, and collaboration is one of the most beautiful gifts of our lives as musicians. We provide the tools for musicians to come together to share their gifts with each other, with the Church, and with the whole world.
How did The Hildegard Collective start?
Our founding team, Cecilia Leskowicz and Tara McDermott, met in their undergrad studies in music at the Catholic University of America. A friendship quickly blossomed, and they became roommates their senior year. They spent many late nights talking about their shared Catholic faith, the careers they were hoping to build, and the challenges they saw they would face as practicing Catholics in the field of music.
Then Covid-19 hit. Cecilia went home to State College, Pennsylvania, where she graduated from her living room couch and began her grad studies in flute performance at Penn State University. Tara also graduated from her living room couch in the suburbs of Chicago, but soon after flew across the world to Dublin, Ireland, where she began her masters in musicology. Their late night conversations translated into many voice note exchanges and Whatsapp video calls, in which they shared the challenges and difficulties they were facing as practicing Catholics in environments that weren’t exactly the most friendly to Catholic values.
During this time, Cecilia was dreaming up the idea of an online platform where Catholic musicians could connect with one another and be strengthened in their faith, so that they could know they weren’t alone and feel equipped to live out their faith in their professional lives. She took this idea to the GIVEN Forum in 2021. Through her time at GIVEN and during the subsequent year, The Hildegard Collective was formed, earned a spot in the OSV Innovation Challenge’s semi-finals, and was awarded a $10,000 grant from the GIVEN Institute to kickstart the Collective.
While embarking on these exciting opportunities, Cecilia realized she couldn’t do this alone, so Tara joined the team in the spring of 2022! With a whole lot of work, and even more prayer, they’ve made the fruits of their late-night chats a beautiful reality through The Hildegard Collective, and they count themselves very blessed to be able to use their own struggles as a launchpad to create an amazing community for other Catholic musicians.
Who is The Hildegard Collective for?
If you are Catholic and you work or study in the field of music in any capacity, secular or church, classical or pop, teaching, performing, or even healing – the Hildegard Collective is your home. While we especially have a heart for those who work or study in secular environments, all Catholic musicians are welcome here.
While the Collective is specifically designed for Catholic musicians, we welcome non-Catholic musicians who desire a Christ-centered community at the heart of their profession. If you resonate with this, you are welcome here!