On August 28, 1989, percussionist Terry Smith and former principal bassoonist John Wetherill filed articles of incorporation with the Colorado Secretary of State, creating the Colorado Symphony Orchestra. A bitter dispute was raging between the Denver Symphony Orchestra's management and its musicians. As the registered agent of the newly formed organization, Smith was the primary target of potential lawsuits. The Denver Symphony's union contract prohibited musicians from joining competing ensembles. But when the beleaguered musicians voted to quit the Denver Symphony en masse and join the new Colorado Symphony, legal challenges and threats to sack players evaporated. Smith and Wetherill signed the new nonprofit corporation over to the musicians' elected representatives on November 1, 1989. The Denver Symphony Orchestra ceased to exist after it merged with the Colorado Symphony Orchestra in 1990. The hard-fought success of the musician-run CSO surprised almost everyone, and secured the future of symphonic music in Colorado.
Terry grew up in Oklahoma, Montana, and Colorado, where he graduated from Wheat Ridge High School in 1970. As a teenager, he played drums with several rock bands in Denver. From 1996 until 2000, he led the Mallet Works percussion group, and from 1992 until 2005, he played tenor pan with Pan Jumbies.
His formal education includes a doctorate in music from the University of Colorado, and a masters from the University of Michigan. He taught at U of M while completing his masters degree. And after completing his doctorate, he taught at CU for five years.
In 1971, Terry started Bill Bueno Mallet Works, a small manufacturing company in Boulder. In 1996, he started Colorado Ensembles LLC, an agency that provides live music for special events.
His mallet percussion arrangement of Graceful Ghost is published by Leigh Howard Stevens' Marimba Productions Inc. MMB Music publishes Terry's transcriptions of jazz solos by Gary Burton and Milt Jackson. His arrangement of Sorcerer's Apprentice (ASCAP) for glockenspiel, violin, viola, cello, and B-flat clarinet is frequently performed on Colorado Symphony outreach concerts.
Before joining the Denver Symphony in 1980, Terry served five years on the faculty of the University of Wisconsin at River Falls (1975-80), where he chaired the university's Concerts and Lectures Committee and directed the 1980 North American Percussion Workshop. He also performed and recorded with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, Dave Brubeck, Minnesota Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Festival de Opera de Las Palmas (Canary Islands, Spain), and three seasons with the Colorado Philharmonic / National Repertory Orchestra (1972-74).
In his spare time, he enjoys biking, tennis and cruising. He and his wife, Christy, were married in 1975 and together they have raised two daughters.