Students host concert to benefit other children experiencing homelessness

Musicians Emilia Diaz Delgado, 10, and Conor Padmanabhan, 16, perform a classical guitar recital at the Mission Dolores Chapel on Nov. 3 as a benefit for the Homeless Children’s Network.

Next concert: Sunday, Dec. 1, 5 p.m., at the Mission Dolores Chapel, 16th & Dolores Street, San Francisco

by Hilary Bothma, Homeless Children’s Network

On Nov. 3, two young musicians lent their talents towards uplifting other children in San Francisco who are experiencing homelessness. The musicians, 10-year-old Emilia Diaz Delgado and 16-year-old Conor Padmanabhan, performed a classical guitar recital at the Mission Dolores Chapel. The concert benefitted Homeless Children’s Network, a non-profit agency located in the Bayview and a leading provider of mental health services to families throughout San Francisco.

Introducing the artists, Homeless Children’s Network (HCN) Executive Director Dr. April Silas thanked them, saying: “They looked at children experiencing homelessness and said, ‘I see me in you and I see you in me.’ That’s powerful.” Dr. Silas asked that the audience in the 200-year-old Chapel “applaud what [these artists] have already made possible by gathering us and giving us an opportunity to stare at this atrocity called homelessness and do something about it.”

It’s a joy when children see other children in severe need and decide to help. Homeless Children’s Network Executive Director Dr. April Silas celebrates the Nov. 3 benefit concert in the beautiful, historic Mission Dolores Chapel with featured performer classical guitarist Emilia Diaz Delgado, who is only 10 years old.

Ms. Diaz Delgado said after the event, “I like playing … and I don’t like ignoring the thought of kids without a proper home, like I can’t do anything and they should sort it out. And when we put these ideas together, we got a great concert and funds for homeless children.”

Donations raised at the concert will go towards HCN services to decrease the trauma of homelessness and domestic violence for children, many of whom are the same ages as Ms. Diaz Delgado and Mr. Padmanabhan. HCN’s programs are unique in their Afri-centric approach to service provision and infrastructure. The new Ma’at Program at HCN provides mental health and wellness support for Black/African American families throughout San Francisco.

The concert was a part of a new 2019-2020 Classical Guitar Series produced by Notes for Nourishment, co-sponsored by and the music ministry of Mission Dolores Basilica. Ms. Diaz Delgado and Mr. Padmanabhan performed solo works by Bach, Turina, Brouwer and others and were each also joined by a quartet of other guitarists. The performers are students of Scott Cmiel at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music’s Pre-College Division.

Outside on the steps of Mission Dolores, the oldest building in San Francisco, are Conor Padmanabhan, 16, also a featured performer on Nov. 3, with his classical guitar quartet of friends.

Mr. Padmanabhan said of the event: “Music is a great way to bring people together and raise awareness for a worthy cause. I’m honored that I was able to share my music to help others in need and support Homeless Children’s Network and the valuable work it does!”

On Sunday, Dec. 1, at 5 p.m., 14-year-old guitarist Eric Wang continues the concert series at the Mission Dolores Chapel. The Dec. 1 concert benefits both Homeless Children’s Network and Music in Schools Today.

Learn more about Homeless Children’s Network and the Dec. 1 concert at  

Contact Hilary Bothma at