A special afternoon of classical music on Sunday will pay tribute to a longtime and influential El Cerrito High School educator and benefit scholarships and the ECHS museum.

The Ben Rust Memorial Classical Music Concert at 2 p.m. Feb. 2 at the Performing Arts Center at the school, 540 Ashbury Ave., will feature the Kensington Symphony Orchestra performing works by Wagner and Brahms, joined by special guest soloist Lisa Houston, cellist Rebecca Rust and German bassoonist Friedrich Edelmann.

Ben Rust, a 1939 graduate of UC Berkeley, "was an educator, author, historian and craftsman and a prominent figure in the faculty of ECHS and in the community," notes the El Cerrito High School Archiving Project, which is sponsoring the concert.

Rust was a longtime leader at the local and county levels of the California Federation of Teachers and assisted state legislators as educational consultant for the Senate Governmental Administration and Efficiency Committees.

His daughter, acclaimed cellist Rebecca Rust, lives in Germany with her bassoonist husband Friedrich Edelmann, and both are coming to perform at the concert here.

Soprano Lisa Houston, meanwhile, has had leading roles with such companies as Berkeley Opera, West Bay Opera, Golden Gate Opera, Cinnabar Opera Theatre, Pacific Repertory Opera, Bay Area Summer Opera Theatre and Townsend Opera.

It all adds up to what should be a memorable afternoon of music.

Tickets are $10 each, available at the door or in advance by contacting Donna Houser at 510-508-6830 or houserini@sbcglobal.net.

All proceeds from the concert will go to the El Cerrito High School Archiving Project to fund scholarships for seniors planning on attending college and for the maintenance of the school's history museum.

WEST COUNTY NOTES: The Richmond Museum of History, 400 Nevin Ave., will pay tribute to the work that has been done on the historic World War II cargo ship SS Red Oak Victory and the volunteers dedicated to its restoration.

"For the Love of OUR Ship," the museum's first exhibit of the new year, opens with a reception from 2 to 4 p.m. Feb. 9 that will include music, refreshments and a chance to meet and talk with the volunteers at the Red Oak, docked at the Port of Richmond.

The reception is free and open to the public. Also check out the refurbished and painted main gallery at the museum while you're there.

For more details call 510-235-7387 or 510-237-2933, or visit www.richmondmuseumofhistory.org.

  • Newlyweds Nick and Nora Charles -- William Powell and Myrna Loy, assisted by faithful terrier Asta (played by Skippy) -- are summoned to solve a perplexing case in "The Thin Man" (1934), the next feature in the Cerrito Classics series at 7 p.m. Feb. 13 at the Rialto Cinemas Cerrito, 10070 San Pablo Ave.

    The film, based on the novel by Dashiell Hammett, was the first of a popular series of films that ensued.

    Cerrito Classics are co-hosted by Friends of the Cerrito and all tickets are $8. Getting tickets in advance for the popular series is advised. For more details visit www.rialtocinemas.com/cerrito under the "Special Events" section.

  • The Richmond Public Library is now participating in the Discover & Go service that makes free or discounted passes to local museums and other cultural institutions available to patrons with a library card. The service is already a successful offering at branches of the Alameda and Contra Costa library systems.

    To access the service visit www.DiscoverAndGo.org or click the link at www.RichmondLibrary.org.

    For more details call the Richmond Library reference desk at 510-620-6561.

  • The after school programs at the George Miller Centers in Concord and Richmond have announced the results of their annual winter coat drive. This year's drive brought in 201 coats that were donated to the Bay Area Rescue Mission in Richmond. The program's two sites have brought in more than 1,400 coats during the six years the annual collection has been held.

    Singled out for special appreciation for their ongoing help are Debbie Ojeda and the Rotary Club of Pinole.

    Contact Chris Treadway at 510-262-2784 or ctreadway@bayareanewsgroup.com. Follow him at Twitter.com/christreadway.