Born in San Francisco, Smedvig studied at the University of Washington and Mills College in Oakland, where she studied violin with the San Francisco Symphony's Frank Houser.
She was a violinist with the Seattle Symphony for 33 years, and was devoted to teaching, both in public schools and private lessons, as well. After her retirement, she continued to play in chamber groups.
Smedvig's husband Egil is a music teacher and composer. Her son, Rolf, was formerly the principal trumpet of the Boston Symphony and later founded the Empire Brass Quintet. Her daughter Jodene is a public-school teacher, and her daughter Siri is a violinist and painter.