Jane Swanson studied French horn with Ralph Pyle, Fred Fox, Wendell Hoss, Sinclair Lott and James Decker in Southern California, and with Phillip Yaeger in Austin, Texas. She also received extensive coaching in chamber music from Mitchell Lurie, both at the Music Academy of the West and at UCLA. She attended Pomona College and the University of Texas at Austin, earning a degree in music performance from UCLA in 1966. She was a winner of the Coleman Chamber Music Competition that same year.
A resident of San Luis Obispo since 1967, Swanson was active for 51 years as a performer with the San Luis Obispo Symphony, Cuesta Master Chorale and Opera San Luis Obispo. From 1971 to 2010 she performed with the San Luis Obispo Mozart Festival. She has taught private lessons and coached brass ensembles privately and for San Luis Obispo Youth Symphony, Cuesta College and Cal Poly.