She holds a Doctor of Musical Arts in Conducting from The Ohio State University, where she served as conductor of the OSU Collegiate Winds, assistant conductor of the OSU Wind Symphony and Symphonic Band, and taught undergraduate conducting classes. Her dissertation included a critical edition of Aaron Copland's El Salón México for wind ensemble. She also holds an MM 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.
Dr. Svanoe's research on Aaron Copland has been published in the WASBE Journal and presented at the CBDNA national conference. She served as the Collegiate Coordinator for the New Hampshire
Music Educators Association, and is a member of the College Band Directors National Association, the College Music Society, and the National Association for Music Education. She is an honorary member of Kappa Kappa Psi, and a member of Pi Kappa Lambda, the National Music Honor Society.
She is also the creator of Marrying Mr. Darcy, the Pride & Prejudice card game. Originally from Whitewater, Wisconsin, she currently lives near Minneapolis with her husband, designer and graphic novelist Erik Evensen.