A particular benefit of boarding school is the 24-hour nature of the school day and the possibilities this provides for extra-curricular activities of various kinds. Up-to-date details of all events, including sporting fixtures, can be found on the school calendar.
Music plays a huge role in the culture of the school. Individual voice lessons and instrumental tuition in a range of instruments are available after school from a range of external expert teachers.
Boys are active across a range of musical styles, and perform solo and in groups at regular recitals. Many students avail of the opportunity to prepare for grade and diploma exams in piano and other instruments and participate in local competitions and festivals. A Battle of the Bands competition takes place a number of times each year.
The School Choir, comprising of boys from all years, sings at the Community Mass each Sunday, and at some other school liturgies during the year. The choir occasionally sings outside Glenstal, and recently formed part of the backing choir for The Celtic Tenors‘ Christmas concert in Limerick’s University Concert Hall.
Drama, in its various forms, is a valuable part of the Glenstal experience, and participation in the annual school production is not confined to any one year group. We alternate between musicals and ‘straight’ plays so as to provide the maximum number of boys with the opportunity to participate, both on stage and in other capacities.
In recent years, a smaller-scale production, often devised by the boys themselves, has become a fixture in the 2nd Year calendar. An Arts and Drama week is part of the Transition Year programme.
Apart from the various in-class debating activities organised by their language teachers, all students have the opportunity to develop and use basic public speaking and debating skills. A special after-school programme is organised for all Juniors, to introduce them to the basics of public speaking. This groundwork is further developed in Transition Year.
The Senior Debating Society is open to all 5th and 6th Year students. In recent years, boys have competed successfully in several major national competitions, including the Denny Schools Debates, the Concern Debates and the Mental Health Public Speaking Project.