The Student Programming Council (SPC) has announced the Eli Young Band, an American country band, as this year’s performer for the  annual Fall Band Party on Monday, Oct. 29.

The band, which released its first album in 2008, has recently been touring with American country music group Rascal Flatts.

The Eli Young Band released its most recent album in 2011, titled “Life at Best,” which included the group’s No. 1 hits “Crazy Girl” and “Even if it Breaks Your Heart.” The group has also received Country Music Awards (CMA) nominations this year for Vocal Group of the Year.

Songwriters Will Hoge and Eric Paslay have also been nominated to receive the CMA’s Song of the Year award for “Even if it Breaks Your Heart.”

“We thought we’d change things up a bit from the traditional hip-hop, R&B and rap artists we’ve had in the past,” said Chris Akavi, Goizueta Business School senior and co-Band Party chair with B-School senior Chloe Saeks. “We really wanted to branch out and cover other genres.”

Akavi added that SPC had tried for a country band for this year’s homecoming concert, but the organization “had to please alumni as well, but we weren’t happy with who was available” for that week.

“Even before we started planning for these events, though, we wanted to branch out to other genres for SPC events,” said Akavi.

Akavi also cited SPC’s decision to bring stand-up comedian Amy Schumer, who performed at this year’s homecoming, as another example of their efforts to branch out. Shumer was the first female comedian in several years to come to Emory.

Akavi said he feels that the selection of the Eli Young Band also fits well with the fact that Emory is located in the South and that there is a large Southern demographic on campus.

“There’s still a lot of people [at Emory] who listen to [country music] and enjoy it,” Akavi said.

To secure the Eli Young Band this year, Akavi and Saeks reached out to the group’s agent. Akavi said that overall, securing the band “was a smooth process.” Akavi added that he feels having a country band will serve as “another opportunity to bring the campus together.”

“Country music is one of those things you listen to in the car and sing along to,” he said. “At a country music concert, it’s generally a feel-good atmosphere.”

– By Jordan Friedman