Terry Vermillion


I have always been attracted to improvised music, where great musicians create music in the moment as if it were flowing from their inner self. My studies of the amazingly complex traditions of Western contemporary music, Indonesian gamelan, Brazilian samba, Afro-Cuban rhumba, and the world of jazz and popular music confirm this belief.

Having established a career at the crossroads of improvised music and classical European art music, I have always been drawn to collaborations that explore a balance of compositional formality and improvisation. From recitals featuring transcriptions of semi-improvisational duets by jazz-fusion drummer Bill Bruford and new age pianist Patrick Moraz, to collaborations with electro-acoustic composer Scott Miller featuring MIDI triggered sound events in the premiere of Miller’s Improvisational Etudes for Strings, Metal, and Wood, I have always been attracted to the interactive possibilities between percussion and electro-acoustic music.

I’ve been fortunate to have received a number of awards including:

  • National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Study Grant for my study with ECM recording artist Peter Erskine
  • Downbeat magazine's award for Jazz Instrumental Soloist Outstanding College Performance
  • Grand Prize in the Rocky Mountain Concerto Competition
  • 2010 Bruce and Dee Pearson Faculty Excellence Award
  •  United Arts of Central Minnesota Outstanding Educator Award for 2010
Terry Vermillion
Terry Vermillion, adjunct faculty
College of Saint Benedict
Saint John’s University

Dr. Amy Grinsteiner
Chair, Music Department


SJU Music 106

Kelly Brueske
Coordinator, Music Department


SJU Music 110