She studied piano with Dorothy Taubman and composition with Robert Strassburg, Roy Harris, Darius Milhaud, A.U. Boscovich, and Milton Babbitt. She graduated with undergraduate degrees from Eastman School of Music, a Master of Arts in theory and composition from the University of Pennsylvania and a Master of Fine Arts and Ph.D in composition from Princeton University. She was the first woman to receive a Ph.D. in music from Princeton University.
After completing her studies, Thome became a professor and then chair of the Composition Program at the University of Washington School of Music. Thome's compositions have been performed in Europe, China, Australia, Canada, Israel and USA. She has been composer-in-residence at the University of Sussex, Bennington Chamber Music Conference and Composers Forum of the East. Her compositions have been featured on French radio 1994 Washington Composer of the Year.