They could have called it Jodipalooza.
Noted Vancouver music teacher Jodi Brown celebrated 30 years in business with performances by more than 30 pianists Sunday.

There were memories, emotion and devotion to a piano teacher, who has been much more than that to her three boys, one mom said. The big-name professionals were at the grand pianos, the students, past and present, took turns on the keys, and Jodi Brown showed off her chops.

She's had Jodi's School of Music for 30 years, so a weekend of music seemed like an appropriate celebration. There were workshops on Saturday. Proceeds will go to the Ray Hickey Hospice House, where Brown's father received care.

"It's been really emotional to reconnect with tons of old students," Brown said of the 1,000 or so youngsters and adults she's mentored. "I've touched their lives but they've touched me also. ... Some have children now, and many have majored in music."  The placard at the door of the banquet room at the Heathman Lodge read: "Now playing - Students of Jodi's School of Music."

The boys were in suits and ties, the girls in party and evening dresses. A big screen flashed photos of students at the piano. Some photos were two decades old. Artists who performed included Seattle native David Lanz, whose credits include a gold record (more than 250,000 copies sold) for "Cristofori's Dream."  Tom Grant of Portland also performed. Grant has 24 recordings and sold more than 70,000 copies of the album "Mango Tango," released in 1987.

"Jodi's really wonderful with kids," Grant said. "Her students love her. She's very highly respected among teachers."  Vancouver's Jim Fischer performed "Jodi's School of Music," a tune from his "New Road" CD. The praise for Brown came in cascades. It was, to be sure, a love-in. Jennifer Pearson remembered begging her parents for music lessons and being rewarded on her 11th birthday.

"Jodi made me believe in the music that was inside of me," Pearson said. "She also made me cut my fingernails short. And there was more to learn than just playing, Pearson remembered. "We would practice bowing for about three months before a recital," she said.  Today, Pearson plays keyboard and synthesizer in her Portland band, Jen Moon.  Brown said hearing from Pearson and former student Amanda Brown convinced her to have the anniversary party.

David Askren, 64, a Vancouver computer programmer, took lessons for 10 years in the 1990s. He also brought his daughters, Heather, now 32, and Annamarie, 26.  "She was quite a cutting-edge teacher," Askren said, noting that Brown was using computer tools as the art form was coming into vogue. "She was always looking for ways ... to how the students could learn.

"She was excellent," Askren said. Each daughter stayed with Brown for a decade or more, he remembered.  The teacher's teachers ~ About 150 people were at the celebration, including Nancy Christianson of Bismarck, N.D.  "She was my first student," said Christianson, remembering she had an infant at the time. "Her mom held the baby and I gave Jodi lessons. ... She was just gung-ho. ... This is so emotional, all these memories."

Brown's first 10 years in business were in Linton, N.D., after she earned a bachelor of music degree from Concordia College in Moorhead, Minn., for piano performance, with a vocal minor.
Brown's longtime friend, Sheila Zinke of Valley City, N.D., sang a Carpenters song to Brown.
Brown remembered that she and Zinke "won the talent show at 4-H camp."

Jennifer Dummer of Vancouver might have spoken for many parents.  "We've been with Jodi for 18 years," she said. Her sons are Andrew, 22, Matthew, 19, and Joseph, 15, who still takes lessons.

"They've learned a tremendous amount about playing the piano and music, but it's gone beyond that," Dummer said. "I think, almost at times, she been their counselor. She's been there for them. They feel she respects them.

"And they all started (when each boy was) 4. ... We've never left."  Midway through the six-hour program, Brown sat down at the keys with Don Lehman on the facing grand piano. She said she's been taking lessons from Lehman for 18 years.  They performed "Concerto in C Major," first movement, Allegro moderato, by Leroy Anderson.
And when Brown hit the last note, the students shouted acclaim for the teacher, complete with a standing ovation.  "I'm pretty emotional," Brown said afterward. "I've cried a few times today."