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The Dripby Fern Shen10:54 amJul 19, 20110

Victim in Saturday stolen van crash led well-loved youth jazz band

Police have identified the man who died Saturday when the driver of a stolen van struck his vehicle, as Wendell Hairston, a longtime Baltimore city schools music teacher who led a precocious jazz band at Winston Middle School.

Hairston taught in several schools during his 38 years with city schools. He was at Winston, which closed last year, as well as Dr. Nathan A. Pitts-Ashburton Elementary/Middle School and, most recently, Southside Academy, city school officials told The Baltimore Sun.

But it was his student band, the Winston Band, composed of students and alums, that made him well known in the local jazz scene. They played at private and school-related special events, including the ceremonial announcement organized by city schools chief Andres Alonso a couple years ago at M & T Bank Stadium to celebrate the system’s enrollment turnaround.

Here’s a video of one of the band’s performances posted on Youtube in  2009. It’s hard to believe these are students.

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