The Autobiography Project

Your Autobiographies

Edmund W. Boyle's Autobiography (submitted 5/11/06)

For over thirty years, millions of people have seen me on television, heard me perform at all sorts of public acivities, particularly at Independence Hall, and nobody in Philadelpia knows who I am. My photograph goes home ever year with a multitude of tourists and has even appeared on SEPTA buses. I am an historical musician and I play the fife. I am 66 years of age and have been playing since I was ten.

I provide fife and drum music daily at the Historical Park and open most major conventions and meetings in the Philadelphia area, although I have represented the city in Italy and England. My first performance in Philadelphia was at Carpenter's Hall in 1974 and I have been doing so ever since.

The wonderful, historical music of America has been my life's passion. It should never be allowed to die. To prevent its demise, I use the internet to teach people to play the fife, not just in the United States, but all over the world. Since 1999, I have taught almost 2000 students from across North America and most of Europe and Asia. I have advised in the formation of fife and drum corps in as far away places as Australia and British West Indies. Not all of my instruction is of the long distance variety. I personally teach many reenactors in the area.

During the winter months, using my computer, I restore 18th- and 19th-century martial musical manuscripts to their original appearance. These old, tired, faded documents will never be forgotten as a result of my efforts. They will be my legacy.

As I said at the beginning of this article, "Nobody in Philadelphia knows who I am." Historical musicians throughout the rest of the world know me very well...I guess it's a Philadelphia thing.

- Ed Boyle

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