Reginald Delany Crews II has been playing the violin since he was 5 years old. As the now high school junior grew and his talent blossomed, he has found it to be something he has enjoyed more and more.


On Tuesday night, Crews was crowned the 2014 North Augusta Idol thanks to his rendition of “Concerto in A Minor, Op. 3, No. 6, 1st Movement.”


It also happened to be the competition's 10th anniversary.


“I just came out, and I love to make people smile,” he said. “So I did my best to do that. This is one of the concertos I play in concerto competitions, so I figured, 'Why not expose it to everyone else and let everyone else see it?'”


Carol Terry, the director of North Augusta Idol, said Crews started playing violin in elementary school. She and Peggy Burnett, coordinator of North Augusta Idol, believe the first song he played was “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.”


“It's so nice for him to get rewarded for a talent like that,” Terry said. “So many times they are overlooked.”


Other winners included Kevin Arnold and Kayla Howard, who came in first and second at the high school level. Taylor Darville and Parker Blackburn were the top middle school finishers, and Heidi Coughenour and Ansley Parrish were the top duo from the elementary school ranks.


Howard also was named the second winner of the Mim Woodring Award for Excellence, an honor that was established last year.


“She has a really special place in my heart,” Howard said, referring to Woodring. “I remember going over to Ms. Carol's house when I was in third grade. They both mentored and helped to make me the singer I am today. It's just a real honor.”


Burnett said Howard was in fourth grade at Belvedere Elementary and sang “Amazing Grace,” a capella style.


“She's been in the idol show several times, and we're just delighted to have her,” she said.


Terry recounted that Howard did not know how to use a microphone back in those days.


“Mim gave her a hairbrush, and she sat in my dining room holding the hairbrush and practicing,” she said. “Mim just really took an interest in her.”


As far as Crews' upcoming plans, he said he performed in a wedding in the past and will be in a second one this summer. Beyond that, he plans to take things as they come. He will return to the stage next year, like Mary Tabor, the 2013 North Augusta Idol and inaugural winner of the Mim Woodring Award for Excellence, did with her performance to “Shake It Out.”


The 22-contestant field yielded some great talent that continues to get better and better every year, according to Terry and Burnett.


All proceeds raised by ticket sales will go toward a fine arts scholarship presented to a graduating high school senior who will major or minor in the arts in college.


Scott Rodgers is the news editor at The North Augusta Star and has been with the paper since January 2013.