She holds a Doctor of Musical Arts in Conducting from The Ohio State University, where she served as conductor of the OSU Collegiate Winds from 2006–2009, regular assistant conductor of the OSU Wind Symphony and Symphonic Band, and taught undergraduate conducting classes. She also holds a Master of Music in Wind Conducting from Oklahoma State University and a Bachelor of Music Education from the University of Wisconsin–Eau Claire. Her principal conducting teachers include Russel Mikkelson, Joseph Missal, Hilary Apfelstadt, and Marshall Haddock.
In addition to conducting and ensemble direction, she has served as an instructor of clarinet, orchestration, wind literature, music theory, music education, and music appreciation at the college level. She has been an active adjudicator and clinician in New England and the Great Lakes region since 2003.
When not on the podium or in the classroom, Dr. Svanoe writes music for band and chamber ensemble, with her pieces receiving national attention. The Haunted Carousel won the 2014 NBA Young Band Composition Contest and was featured at the Midwest Clinic and the CBDNA Southern Division Conference. Steampunk Suite was featured at the 2017 American Bandmasters Association National Conference, and performed by “The President's Own” United States Marine Band at the US Capitol Building. Her DMA dissertation included a critical edition of Aaron Copland's El Salón México for wind ensemble. Her related research on Aaron Copland has been published in the WASBE Journal and presented at the CBDNA national conference.
She is also the creator of Marrying Mr. Darcy, the Pride & Prejudice card game, and occasionally advocates/speaks on the topics of crowdfunding, game design, and arts entrepreneurship. Originally from Whitewater, Wisconsin, she currently lives near Minneapolis with her husband, designer and graphic novelist Erik Evensen.