Graphic Communications Student Rockin' with Green Day

Gwendolyn Giles is a third year Graphic Communications (GRC) major at Cal Poly with an extraordinary hobby.

Gwendolyn (right) and her little sister, Lucy (left), make up the two-member band called “Dog Party” that the sisters started when they were just 11 and 9 years old. Dog Party has toured all over the country, as well as various locations in Europe.Giles and sister

Gwendolyn plays the guitar and her sister plays the drums. Their band had humble beginnings, playing rock-n-roll in their childhood bedroom back in Sacramento, California.

“We didn’t have the proper equipment, so we took like a karaoke mic and hung it down from my sister’s loft so she could sing while playing the drums,” Gwendolyn said. “And that was our first band practice.”

Dog Party made the finals in a Sacramento band competition just months after the sisters learned to play their instruments. The band’s performance at the competition led to perhaps their most impressive achievement to date: opening for the band Green Day at the UC Theatre in Berkeley, California. This was a dream come true for Gwendolyn. 

“In fourth grade I got Green Day’s album ‘American Idiot’,” said Gwendolyn. “I remember just laying on the floor in front of my purple, little CD player and just reading along with the lyric sheets, not knowing what half those obscene words meant, but it didn’t matter to me; it was just awesome.”

Gwendolyn has combined her music with her education at Cal Poly. She says Dog Party’s brand image has been the subject of her classwork in the GRC program. “We just started a record label and a magazine thing called BRAT MAG, so having the skills with the [GRC] major, I was able to get undergrad units for it last quarter,” she said.

The band’s brand is becoming quite notable, with movie and television producers requesting Gwendolyn’s music to appear in the hit television series “Limitless.”

Dog Party plans to be on tour in late March to early April in Southern California. The band will also return to Europe in mid June. 

Dog Party’s music is available on Spotify, Bandcamp, and iTunes.

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