Minnesota’s Modern Old-World Sound

SimpleGifts combines violin, Celtic whistle and bagpipes, piano, acoustic guitar and percussion with angelic three part female vocals to create a “modern Old-World” sound.

Minnesota’s Modern Old-World Sound

SimpleGifts combines violin, Celtic whistle and bagpipes, piano, acoustic guitar and percussion with angelic three part female vocals to create a “modern Old-World” sound.

Christmastide 2018 Tour brings SimpleGifts to new venues and new heights!

Holiday greetings to one and all! We got an early start booking the 2018 tour which has positioned us for a record-breaking year as far as reaching folks who value the true Christmas story shared in song. We will bring SimpleGifts’ reputation as a unique musical force to communities and venues that haven’t seen us in years or will be welcoming us for the first time. Partnering with performing arts centers who have extensive contact lists will create opportunities for more audiences who have had enough of Frosty and Rudolph and are longing to be fed with soulful song-selections, arrangements, recordings and live performances. Our loyalty to long-time presenters and communities is well represented on our 2018 Tour while re-establishing and creating new ones.

2018 Holiday “Christmastide” Tour

Nov 29 – Lakeville Performing Arts Center
Nov 30 – Wooddale Church, Eden Prairie
Dec 1 – St. Stephen Lutheran Church, Bloomington, MN
Dec 2 – Wildwood Performing Arts, Mahtomedi, MN
Dec 6 – Shattuck-St. Mary’s, Fairibault, MN
Dec 7 – Mt. Olivet Lutheran, Plymouth, MN
Dec 8 – Waconia Performing Arts Center, Waconia, MN
Dec 9 – St. Michael’s Lutheran, Roseville, MN
Dec 11 – Christ Presbyterian Church. Edina, MN
Dec 13 – New York Mills Performing Arts Center, New York Mills, MN
Dec 14 – Historic Holmes Theatre, Detroit Lakes, MN
Dec 15 – Hardy Performing Arts Center, Cambridge, MN
Dec 16 – Paramount Theater, Austin, MN
Dec 18 – Masonic Heritage Theater, Bloomington, MN
Dec 19 – Marine-on-St-Croix Town Hall, Marine-on-St-Croix, MN
Dec 20 – Marine-on-St-Croix Town Hall, Marine-on-St-Croix, MN
Dec 21 – Marine-on-St-Croix Town Hall, Marine-on-St-Croix, MN
Dec 22 – Marine-on-St-Croix Town Hall, Marine-on-St-Croix, MN
Dec 23 – Marine-on-St-Croix Town Hall, Marine-on-St-Croix, MN

About SimpleGifts

As long-time fans will tell you, SimpleGifts makes musical magic by bringing a modern flair to traditional Christmas carols and hymns. Staying close to the heart of Christmas by avoiding commercial and pop holiday repertoire has become the trademark of this award winning six-piece ensemble.

SimpleGifts combines violin, Celtic whistle and bagpipes, piano, acoustic guitar and percussion with angelic three part female vocals to create a “modern Old-World” sound. There is nothing ordinary about the arrangements this team delivers both in the studio and in concert. Seen by over 20,000 live audience members last season, this group continues to grow in popularity throughout the Upper Midwest and has successfully transitioned from their early days in coffeehouses and small listening rooms to prestigious performing art centers and larger churches.

SimpleGifts on Stage © Melissa Busse

With little media attention, SimpleGifts is arguably the most successful MN holiday-themed project celebrating exclusively traditional hymns and carols interpreted in modern arrangements. Fueled by grassroots fans since 2001, the 16th Annual SimpleGifts 2017 Holiday “Christmastide” Tour includes close to 20 concerts between Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve in the Twin Cities metro or close proximity. Music from the group’s most recent CD  “This Christmastide” and previous five critically acclaimed releases will be featured. The ensemble’s previous CD, Wintergrace, is characterized by local music critic, Jim Walsh:

“…one of the most elegant and listenable Christmas collections of this or any year — “WinterGrace” from the Billy McLaughlin-led local collective SimpleGifts” – MinnPost

With exceptional set and lighting design and an impeccable sound-system, SimpleGifts puts community celebration ahead of commercialization – pulling the audience into the sublime side of traditional repertoire in a truly meaningful Christmas event. Expect modern arrangements with an “Old-world” feel highlighting Billy’s signature acoustic-guitar, angelic three-part harmony vocals, bagpipes, Celtic whistles, violin, piano and tasty atmospheric percussion.

Click here to read Musician Profiles


  • O Come All Ye Faithful by SimpleGifts
  • Hark the Herald by SimpleGifts
  • Angels We Have Heard by SimpleGifts
  • Carol of the Bells by SimpleGifts
  • Mary Did You Know by SimpleGifts
  • World is Old/Shepherds by SimpleGifts
  • WinterGrace by SimpleGifts
  • O Little Town of Bethlehem by SimpleGifts
  • The Star Carol by SimpleGifts
  • The Wexford Carol by SimpleGifts
  • The Cherry Tree Carol by SimpleGifts
  • In the Bleak Midwinter by SimpleGifts
  • Breath of Heaven by SimpleGifts
  • Go Tell It on the Mountain by SimpleGifts
  • I Saw Three Ships by SimpleGifts
  • O Come, O Come Emmanue by SimpleGifts
  • Silent Night by SimpleGifts
  • Welcome To Our World by SimpleGifts