Christmas band to get area in the holiday spirit

Published 8:38 am Friday, November 28, 2014

By Hannah Dillon

ALBERT LEA — Traditional Christmas band SimpleGifts is returning to Albert Lea for a seventh time to bring holiday cheer through music.

SimpleGifts will be playing 7 p.m. Sunday at First Lutheran Church, 301 W. Clark St. Tickets are $20 in advance, $25 on the day of the show and $10 for students.

Email newsletter signup

Tickets can be bought at Marshall Street Music, Hy-Vee, Stadheim Jewelers and online at

The band consists of Billy McLaughlin, Billy Oehrlein, Heather Moen, Laura MacKenzie, Ashleigh Still, Torie Redpath and Amy Courts. These musicians play guitar, percussion, violin, celtic whistle, flute, concertina, bagpipe, piano, melodica and vocals.

McLaughlin said SimpleGifts is unique in the world of Christmas music as they don’t play commercial songs such as “Frosty the Snowman” or “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” but rather more spiritual hymns.

With their collection of instruments and song choices, McLaughlin said the band creates a sound most people haven’t heard of before and the best way he can describe it is “modern Old World sound.”