About the Band
Woodland Creatures is a six-piece Americana band based in Pittsburgh, Pa that believes everything is better with three-part harmony. Their original songs are carefully arranged to showcase the beauty and power of their harmonizing vocalists, and the virtuosic talent of their fiddle and lead guitarist. While their songs are influenced by a variety of musical genres, they are all tied together with rootsy vocals and unique instrumentation.
How did the band start?
Woodland Creatures began in 2018 when Hannah and Liz randomly started singing together after finding out they both enjoyed harmonizing to pretty much any tune. Hannah was a new mom at the time who was struggling with depression. Her therapist encouraged her to find time for a hobby that she enjoyed, so she and Liz began regularly singing on her porch together. Hannah's husband, Jon, enjoyed listening to the two of them and wanted to join in. He went out, bought a bass, and taught himself in a few weekends. Then Hannah and Liz remembered that their good friend, Gail, enjoyed singing, and asked if she would like to join in. The rest is history!
So when did Nomi and Ted join the mix?
Nomi came into the picture after we started using percussion in some of our songs and then in our debut EP. We loved having drums so much that we quickly realized that we needed a percussionist to join our group. After a short search, we got really lucky to have found each other via the magic of the internet.
Ted is the most recent member of the band having joined in spring of 2022. We were halfway through recording our first full length album when we realized we needed an electric guitarist to complete our sound. Turns out that Jon (our bassist) worked with a very talented guitarist, Ted, and asked if he would like to help us out. Ted fit right in and has been hanging out ever since.
Why is your name Woodland Creatures?
Turns out it is really hard to create a band name that isn't already a band name! Woodland Creatures happened to not already be a band name and also reflected our love for the outdoors, and animal friends in general.
Did you always write original music?
We started by playing covers, since the founding members had never been in a band before or had written music. We started writing our own original songs after a few months of playing together.
Is music your full-time job?
Several of us do make a living (or part of) through teaching music. Most of us have day jobs outside of music, and the band is our creative outlet.
Where do you practice and perform?
We practice at our rehearsal space (aka basement), and we mostly play shows in the Pittsburgh area.
What is the dream/goal for Woodland Creatures?
We just love to play music together. Our dream is to share that love with others.
Band Member Bios
Gail Hofbauer is a long-time singer . . . in the shower. She’s happy to be among these Creatures, and enjoys bringing this music to the people, onstage and fully clothed! Offstage you’ll find her singing with her daughter, and salsa dancing with her very handsome husband.
Hannah McGovern (born and raised Pittsburgher) took a minute to find out she was actually a fiddle player instead of a classical violist. Hannah started playing viola as a wee kiddo and kept at it until she ended up with a Viola Performance degree from Penn State University. But like Liz, Hannah always enjoyed singing harmonies and listening to the music of Indigo Girls, Joni Mitchel, The Beatles, etc. She is happy and thankful to have combined her musical talents, the music she loves, and the people she loves, into one thing: Woodland Creatures. Hannah lives just outside the city with her husband, Jon (who is also in the band!), two kids, and gentle giant English Mastiff, Chuck.
Rhythm Guitar/Harmony Vocals
Liz Thompson grew up in a musical family in St. Louis, Missouri. With two degrees in French horn performance, her background was the definition of “classically trained.” However, she always loved to sing, especially harmonies. One of her favorite memories is singing Indigo Girls duets with her hometown friend during breaks at orchestra camp. She considers herself very lucky to have found an incredible group of friends who love vocal harmonies as much as she does, and who were up for this journey of starting a band together. From the creative outlet of songwriting, to the sheer joy of making music onstage together, Woodland Creatures has been an exciting departure from the often strict rules and structures of classical music. As a teacher, she tries to share a little bit of this joy each day with her elementary band and music students. When she’s not teaching or playing music, Liz enjoys hiking and cuddling with her two fat orange cats, Oliver and Brady.
Nomi Joy Marcus is a drummer and percussionist originally from Long Island, New York. A yinzer since 2019, Nomi is a school administrator by day and considers herself #blessed to spend the rest of her time performing in a variety of genres, but most notably and rewardingly with Woodland Creatures. Having received multiple degrees in classical percussion, Woodland Creatures is Nomi’s first experience playing in a band, making this the first time in her 25+ years of playing that she can answer in the affirmative to the question “So you play drums…are you like…in a band or something?” Nomi loves playing, teaching, and listening to all music, and in addition to Woodland Creatures, she has most recently performed with the Erie Philharmonic, Incidental Chamber Players, and Brass Roots. She is not officially endorsed by any drum and/or percussion manufacturer, but she fully endorses Dolly Parton for any political office she may wish to seek.
Jonathan McGovern grew up in Lancaster, PA and started playing piano as soon as he could reach the keys. He's always enjoyed all types of music, but is partial to anything that features synthesizers (80's music). Jon started playing bass when his wife, Hannah, said she needed one for the band that she and her friends were starting - so he made it happen. Jon has lots and lots of degrees in science and medicine, is a dad to two kids, and enjoys playing Dungeons and Dragons.
Ted is a Pittsburgh native from the hills of Robinson Township. He's played guitar all his life and has been in several bands. The most notable being Cloverleaf (popular college band based in Stage College, PA in the mid 2000s). He took some time off from collaborative music making while working through postgraduate school until joining Woodland Creatures.