Originally from Auckland, New Zealand and now living in Ballarat, Australia, he is a successful Pipe Major with qualifications to match.
What kind of pipes and chanter do you play?
PH06H Full Silver Peter Hendersons with Zoomorphic design.
Where do you hail from?
Auckland, New Zealand.
Where do you live now?
Ballarat, Victoria, Australia.
Tell me about your piping career. When did you start? What bands have you played with?
I commenced playing in 1982 with the City of Auckland Pipe Band under PM John Downie. I competed with their number 2 band (Gd 4) until 1988 when I was promoted to the number 1 band (Gd 1). I competed with this band at all contests in New Zealand and also on their tour to Australia in 1988. I was also a member of the Auckland Youth Pipe Band under Pipe Major Lewis Turrell, that performed at the 1990 Commonwealth Games in Auckland.
In 1995 I travelled to Scotland to further my piping career and commenced playing with the Drambuie Kirkliston Pipe Band (Gd 2). I competed in all “Major” contests during my stay in Scotland and all other contests entered by the band including the World Pipe Band Championships. Upon my return from Scotland I re-commenced my band playing career with the City of Auckland Pipe Band. In 1998 I left the City of Auckland to play with the Hamilton Caledonian Pipe Band for the NZ Nationals.
In 1998 I was accepted as a full time musician with the Western Australia Pipe Band (Perth) (Gd 2). After being in Perth for only 8 weeks, I travelled with the Band to Scotland and competed with them to win the 1998 World Pipe Band Championships (Gd 2). I was also a playing member of the band that won the 2001 USA Championships (Gd 1) in Alma Michigan. While serving with “WAPOL” I performed at over 400 concerts, parades and performances.
I re-located to Sydney (NSW) to take up the position of Pipe Major with the St Marys District Band Club in 2001. I commenced rebuilding the band by regarding down from Gd1 to Gd 2 and identifying issues that were holding the band back from moving forward. In 2009 the Band removed its involvement with the St Marys District Band Club and reformed under the name of The Pipeband Club – Australia. The Band competed in Scotland at the World Pipeband Championships that year obtaining an 8th position in the Grade 1 qualifying contest.
In 2010 the Band successfully defended its 2008 Australian Championship title. We also won the NSW Mini Band Championships and obtained 14th place in the qualifier at the World Pipe Band Championships.
I am committed to remaining current with Pipe Bands throughout the world and hence have successfully completed the following qualifications:
· Senior Certificate (College of Piping, Glasgow)
· Intermediate Certificate (NZ)
· Advanced Piping Certificate (Australia)
· Ensemble Certificate (Australia)
I am currently on the NSW Piping and Ensemble Adjudicator’s panel and also the Australian National Adjudicators list for Piping. I held the position of Vice Principle of Piping in NSW from 2005 – 2007.
What has been your proudest moment in piping so far?
Winning my second Grade 1 Australian Pipe Band Champiosnhip.
What has been your most stressful moment?
Taking the Band to the World Pipe Band Championships. While stressful still a great 2 weeks.
Who were you taught by?
Pipe Major John Downie & then Pipe Major William (Bill) Roberston Royal Scots.
What do you do as a day job?
Retail Manager for Mobil Oil Australia.
What other hobbies/pursuits/past times do you have?
Rugby and my 2 boys Liam aged 5 and Aiden aged 3.
Where is the most interesting place your piping travels have taken you?
What would your most perfect piping event be? Say if you could snap your fingers and make it happen. Describe.
The Worlds where the travel was not expensive and the weather was great!