Gary Wain, who grew up in New Zealand, was the most outstanding composition student in his year at Auckland University, winnning the Michael Joseph Savage prize amongst other awards. During his time as a composition undergraduate he began to study percussion performance, and in his final recital played his own Marimba Concerto with the university orchestra.

After graduating MMus (Composition) in 1982, he spent several years continuing his studies in percussion, first in London and then with Peter Prommel at the Sweelinck Conservatorium in Amsterdam. Wain moved to Australia in 1987 to take up the post of principal percussionist in the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, a position he has held ever since.

Throughout this time he has been active as a recitalist and teacher, and he has taught percussion and composition at the Tasmanian Conservatorium of Music since 1988. In recent years, Wain has been increasingly in demand as a conductor in Tasmania. Currently he is a principal conductor of the Hobart Chamber Orchestra.