In September of 2008, a choir assembled for the dedication of the new Cathedral of Christ the Light in Oakland after the old cathedral was destroyed by the Loma Prieta Earthquake. In the choir was a tenor named Keith and a soprano named Christine. Little did they know, the two would continue making music together for many years to come. Christine says she noticed Keith right away, “I noticed him the first time he came to rehearsal but we never connected during rehearsals.” After the cathedral dedication performance in November, Christine needed a ride home, and Keith was happy to offer. That ride home turned into grabbing some dinner, which turned into Christine and Keith falling for each other and creating a life together. The couple were married in 2011 at Saint Mary’s College and four choirs sang at the ceremony.
Originally from Buffalo, New York, Keith attended the University of Notre Dame in Indiana, and sang in the Glee Club while there. Travels with the Glee Club brought him to St. Isidore in Danville, and he knew he wanted to call Danville home one day. After working at Accenture in Chicago, in 2003 he co-founded Choicelunch and moved to Danville. “We grew from eight schools in 2003, to over 300 schools throughout Northern and Southern California, operating in 12 California counties,” says Keith. During the pandemic, schools closed, but Choicelunch kept busy by feeding 300,000 homeless meals (and counting), supplying over 100,000 families in need (and counting) with a weekly box of grocery staples and provided drive-through groceries to over 10,000 families throughout five Northern California locations (including downtown Danville).
Eventually the family found their way to Blackhawk in 2018. “We were looking for something with a little more space and Blackhawk was always one of the neighborhoods on my short list,” says Keith. “Keith drove me through over 10 different neighborhoods throughout Danville and Alamo. When we drove through Blackhawk, I was stunned by the beauty of nature in every direction. I could envision our kids walking or biking to the park and enjoying all that the neighborhood has to offer. Everyday I find myself admiring the beautiful mature trees… even if just for a minute, and I feel so incredibly blessed to be living in such a picturesque community,” adds Christine.
Christine grew up in Moraga, and graduated from St. Mary’s College (SMC) of Moraga with a major in vocal performance and a minor in psychology. “After completing my undergraduate education, I then attended the Kalmanovitz School of Education at SMC and graduated from the multiple subject teaching credential program.” says Christine. She began working as a teacher aide at St. Theresa Catholic School in Oakland before having her own 4th grade class at St. Jerome Catholic School in El Cerrito. After having three kids, Christine stayed home to take care of them, but continues to minister by singing for funerals and weddings throughout the Bay Area. “My work as a music minister is unique because what I get to share comes from my truest self, deep down in my core. Being a music minister is not just a choice. It’s a necessity for myself as the person I was made to be on this earth. When I sing, I am able to share joy and I’m able to help others pray. Music can take our minds and souls beyond the place that only only words can take us,” says Christine.
Three children complete the Cosbey family: seven-year-old Christopher, five-year-old Olivia and three-year-old Nicholas. Christopher is a 2nd grader at St. Isidore, and Olivia has started TK at St. Isidore. They both enjoy karate, and Christine says they are drawn to music. “Christopher began piano lessons when he was five years old, while Olivia wants to start with a ukulele. Nicholas is always bouncing and swaying his body when he hears upbeat music, banging on the hand drum and tinkering on the piano, so he is definitely showing interest in music too.” Christopher’s favorite school subjects are math, reading, art and music while Olivia loves arts and crafts, music and books.
Giving back to the community is important to the Cosbey family, and they have done that through music and faith. “I volunteered as a high school music director for many years at St. Joan of Arc Church,” says Keith, “and since 2010 I’ve been a board member for Family Aid Catholic Education, which helps raise money for tuition assistance for children attending Catholic schools within the Diocese of Oakland that otherwise don’t have the financial means to attend. As a product of Catholic education my entire life, I knew there were programs out there to support these students, and I wanted to become a part of it.”
Christine has regularly cantored Mass at St Isidore in Danville as well as St. Monica in Moraga. “Music enhances the mass experience, and I enjoy using my musicianship and voice to be a part of that. I believe that everyone is blessed with a unique gift, and I strongly believe that it is upon us to share that gift with others to spread joy and love. I have volunteered at St. Isidore’s Faith Camp for the past few years, and it’s truly a joy to spend time teaching children about God through activities and music. I loved being a Catholic school teacher, and this has been a good way to get my teaching fix while giving a small amount of my time to serve,” says Christine.
Cooking with her kids is another favorite pastime of Christine’s. “Along with singing, I love cooking creatively for my family and getting my kids involved in the fun. I also enjoy baking, arts and crafts, knitting, yoga, and training our dog,” says Christine.
Izzy is the family dog. Named after St. Isidore, she is a pure-bred, one-year-old German Shepherd who loves walking around the neighborhood and play time at the dog park. “Izzy has brought our kids immense joy. She is the sweetest puppy with the best temperament. She is my absolute dream dog. When we brought Izzy into our family, it was only natural for me to train her to be a Therapy Dog and volunteer with her in the future. Izzy passed her Canine Good Citizen test in October,” says Christine.
The Cosbey family say they appreciate the beauty of Blackhawk every day, “We love the peaceful walks in our neighborhood. The kids love to ride their scooters and bikes around, and they refer to the Falls Pond as “The Lake.” Every neighbor we have met has been so kind, and we feel very blessed to live next to such wonderful people.”
By Megan Scott, Resident since 2010
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