The primary focus of the jazz program is the study of various forms of jazz literature, jazz improvisation, and jazz theory. In addition, all students maintain membership within a music department group. In years where membership numbers warrant it, the Steinert High School Jazz Program will have both a Jazz Band and Jazz Ensemble. Students must audition to be in either group.
Both the Jazz Band and Jazz Ensemble are under the leadership of director Mr. John Ketterer, III. The groups meet weekly from November through April for three hours each week. Throughout the winter and spring months, the bands compete in New Jersey and eastern Pennsylvania at local and regional jazz festivals.
With variations from year to year, the bands follow the structure of a modern "Big Band", typically with a complement of 5 saxophones, 5 trumpets, 4 trombones, and a complete rhythm section which includes piano, electric guitar, upright bass, and drums. Additional instrumentation is used to enhance the sound of musical numbers.