Profiles



Pipe Major Stewart McKenzie

Stewart has been Pipe Major of Manawatu Scottish since 1999 and a member of the organisation since the age of 10, having come through the ranks of the No2 band.

He led the band to its first New Zealand Championship victory in 2001 at the age of 25, and since then Manawatu Scottish has had an unprecedented run of success winning seven New Zealand Championships, two Australasian Championships, and qualifying for the final of the World Championships on six occasions and achieving four top-10 finishes. The band has also produced two highly acclaimed albums under Stewart’s direction and performed at several prestigious international festivals and events.

Although Stewart restricts solo performances these days to flashy tuning phrases and slow airs, he is a highly accomplished solo piper and prolific prize winner with prizes including the New Zealand Championship Strathspey and Reel title (won on his 16th birthday), the New Zealand Gold Medal for piobaireachd and the Clasp to the New Zealand Silver Chanter on two occasions.Stewart regards the band more as an extended family and enjoys the team work and camaraderie as much as the competitive aspect.

He is currently based in Wellington, New Zealand, and works as a town planning consultant, and enjoys travelling, attending gigs and playing social rugby.


 

Drum Sergeant Garry Potter

Gary Potter resides in Perth, Australia. Gary has recently been appointed Drum Sergeant of Manawatu Scottish and has been a member of the band since 2013.

Gary started playing in 1992 and was taught by Bruce Taylor after joining the Benoni High School Pipe Band. Benoni Pipe Band was the first band to compete at the “Worlds” after the lifting of the ban on South Africa after apartheid. In 1997 Gary took over as the principal drumming instructor of the Benoni High School Pipe Band. While there he has led them to 15 South African Juvenile drum corps championships and 15 Champion of Champion drum corps titles. Since then he has competed at the highest level for various grade one bands and won many solo titles.

In 2005 Gary made the move to Scotland, to further his drumming career, where he joined the Scottish Power Pipe Band under L/D Barry Wilson. During his stay in Scotland Gary was the principal drumming instructor for the National Piping Centre in Glasgow where his students went on to play with such bands as Boghall & Bathgate Caledonia Pipe Band and Lothian & Borders Pipe Band.


 

Pipe Sergeant Stuart Easton

Stuart is a local to Palmerston North, New Zealand, and was just 16 when he joined the Manawatu Pipe Band following the 1996 National Contest held in Palmerston North. His brother Robert also joined as a side drummer. Both have made a significant contribution to the on-going success of the band.

Throughout his piping career Stu has won virtually every major prize in New Zealand & Australia including the Silver Chanter & Former Winners Clasp, the Commun Na Piobaireachd (NZ) & McLean (AU) Gold Medals, the New Zealand Solo Piping Championships, overall winner of the RU Brown in Adelaide and the Australasian Invitational Piping final multiple times.He is a regular competitor in Scotland competing in the Silver Medals at Oban and Inverness. Stu has represented New Zealand in Lorient on five occasions and having won the Piobaireachd in 2010. As a recipient of the William Boyle Scholarship, Stuart achieved the Institute of Piping Senior Certificate at the Piping Centre in Glasgow.

Stu & his wife Shelley launched the Easton Bagpipes & Highland Supplies business in early 2011. They are actively teaching, performing recitals and running workshops throughout the Southern Hemisphere.


 

Drum Corporal Elliot Gardner

Born in Palmerston North and currently residing in Wellington. Elliot has been a member of Manawatu Scottish since 1994. He started drumming at the age of 9 under the tuition of Jock and Fraser McKenzie. He then had a brief stint in Auckland where he was tutored by Wayne Hobbs and joined the Manawatu no.1 band shortly after.

Since being in Manawatu he has won 7 national titles and NZ drum corps champions in 1999, 2003 and 2006 and many top solo placings. Elliot spends a lot of his time on the development of players within New Zealand and oversees the Manawatu drum corps operations in New Zealand.

Elliot’s other interests are video games, having competed at a top level in New Zealand and also running competitions for World Cyber Games NZ. He has been working in games and VFX for over a decade.



 

Pipe Corporal William Rowe

William Rowe (Willie) is based in the Hawkes Bay and joined the Manawatu #1 in late 2009 after playing several seasons in the Manawatu #2 band. Originally from Hunterville, Willie started his piping career under neighbor Bruce Cameron and the Rangitikei Scots Pipe Band. After moving to boarding school in Palmerston North, he sought tuition from Pipe Sargent Stuart Easton.

Outside of the band, Willie continues to pursue his solo piping career quickly becoming one of the top A-Grade competitors on the New Zealand scene. Some of his notable successes include the NZ Commun na Piobaireachd Silver Medal (2009) & Gold Medal (2015), 2016 runner up New Zealand Champion, 2016 Strathspey & Reel New Zealand Champion among other prestigious prizes from around New Zealand. Willie has just started his solo career in Scotland and has represented New Zealand in Lorient on two occasions (2015 & 2016).

Willie enjoys the musicality & tonal qualities of the band and looks forward to being a part of the bands progression moving forward into the future.


 

Pipe Corporal Revel McIntyre

Revel McIntyre resides in Wanganui, New Zealand, and is a long standing member of the band, first joining in 1988, and has been a member ever since. When Revel joined he received tuition from Dennis Pearce and later Greg Wilson where he quickly progressed to an A grade solo competitor and was also moved to the Manawatu Scottish No1 band in 1989.After the bands first trip to the world pipe band championships in 1997, Revel spent two years living in Scotland where he played under Pipe Major Ian Duncan in the Vale of Atholl Pipe Band. On return he took up the position of Pipe Sergeant of Manawatu Scottish for nine years and regularly stood in as Pipe Major when required over the years. He now holds the role of Pipe Corporal.

Revel has enjoyed the competitive success of the band, both domestically and internationally, and looks forward to improving its strong competitive record in the future.


 

Drum Corporal Stuart McHale


Stu joined Manawatu as a Drum Major in 2012 after moving to Wellington from Hamilton NZ. He has since returned to his ‘soul instrument’, the bass drum. Stu wears multiple hats as Drum Major, Bass Drummer and Band Manager.

Stu’s earlier days in pipe banding were more focussed around Mace Flourishing, where he won 8 National Mace Flourishing championships. His focus has moved more to the centre of the band where he takes on the role of Bass Drummer. Stu has been teaching and leading bass sections for the last 15 years and prides himself on the success of many students.

At any opportunity you will find Stu trying to arrange a music ‘sesh’ on ‘little instruments’ with microphones all wired in – as an avid instrument collector – Stu has a huge passion for pulling all walks of life into a music session insuring every has an instrument to play.