By Michael Boo
Tyler Tharrington performed marimba this past WGI season with South Carolina’s Saints Percussion, and previously performed snare with Forza East Percussion Ensemble, playing snare drum in 2012 and auxiliary percussion in 2014. He also marched snare drum with Raiders Drum and Bugle Corps in 2013 and Carolina Gold Drum and Bugle Corps in 2014.
Before he became a percussionist, he collected coins for fun, his interest prompted by receiving a “map” of state quarters that required him to be on the outlook for quarters to fill in the individual states. In the decade since the state quarters were released, he completed two of the maps. Still in his freshmen year of high school, he was compelled to continue the hobby of collecting coins and find as many sets as possible.
Among the more common sets that are available are the United States President $1 coins, District of Columbia and U.S. Territory quarters, and quarters in the ongoing “America the Beautiful” collection. In addition to those sets, he’s also fond of collecting coins from around the world. He says, “While I would travel, whether it was on tour back or just in my free time, I would go out to as many shops, banks, and coin dealers as possible to see if I could run into luck of finding something new.” During those travels, he’s managed to collect coins from Canada, the United Kingdom, China, Greece, Scandinavia, and the Czech Republic.
Previously, he focused on collecting coins for the sake of collecting them and learning about other currencies, but then he started to branch out and specialize in collecting coins based on their mint year and coins accidentally produced with errors, adding, “This is a specialty that collectors seek because of their value, and after a few years, I can say it is definitely not an easy task!”
Tyler states that there are things that collecting coins and playing percussion have in common. “The first thing that I noticed is that it’s a joint effort. To really progress and succeed, it is more efficient to work together, much like making connections when it comes to trading and collecting. If you don’t accept help and don’t try to work together, then it’s going to make the whole process harder.”
The most important thing he learned is it takes time to master the craft of any hobby and/or passion. “From the start of when I first picked up drumsticks, it took six years to get this far; performing in front of a crowd, doing what I love. Likewise, creating a collection of coins is not easy, and just like performing, I still have so much farther to go.”