It’s difficult to feel like you’re making a difference these days. In this time of political strife, with our country banning other countries from entering, how can you feel like you’re creating change when those up on Capitol Hill refuse to listen?

Sing. That is what Galed Krisjayanta is doing.

“Music is a powerful tool,” the senior Hesston transfer said. He realized this when he spent a summer traveling around Indonesia, the land of his birth, performing and singing at refugee camps after an earthquake ravaged Yogyakarta in 2006.

While he was travelling and performing, he was also promoting his album, which he released at the young age of ten years old. The album is called Alamsisa, which means our nature and what’s left in it in Indonesian. On the album, he teamed up with both local artists and kids in the refugee camps, where he learned that the power of singing in unison can help mend a broken heart.

Nine years later, Krisjayanta decided to go on another humanitarian singing tour, this time with accomplished vocalist Tony Brown. Known for his ambassadorial singing ventures, Brown travelled to Asia, Africa, Europe and South America, all in the name of promoting peace. He also worked at Hesston College, a sister college to Goshen.

“On one of the last days before break, he came up to me and asked me what I want to do with my music,” said Krisjayanta. “I responded that I want to sing and I want to help people. Then he asked me if I want to travel to Indonesia with him, and sing in the name of peace.”

Complementing Brown’s booming baritone, Krisjayanta travelled five different Indonesian cities, including Yogyakarta. In each city the duo visited, they sang a different set. In Jakarta, the two sang at the U.S. embassy and engaged in a culture sharing experience. In Bali, they sang to raise money for the rehabilitation of those there with disabilities.

“It was a great experience,” Krisjayanta continued. “We refused to get paid, because what we wanted most was to help. It fits my motto of life: ‘serve for a joyful heart, and sing for a peaceful mind.’”

This life motto is something that Krisjayanta developed while creating his debut album.

Here at Goshen, Krisjayanta is working on honing his vocal skills while he figures out ways to impact people with his music when he is ready to take his next steps.

One of the projects he’s currently preparing for is the Concerto Aria, the GC music department’s annual competition. The top seven contestants get to perform a solo piece with the accompaniment of the rest of the Goshen College Symphony Orchestra. The winners will perform an array of different concerto arrangements.

For his piece, Krisjayanta will perform “Vesti la giubba” from Ruggero Leoncavallo’s opera “Pagliacci.” The performance is set for Feb. 11 in Sauder Concert Hall.

Krisjayanta will also be joining a host of other students in a jazz concert at Ignition Garage. The show will be a mix of senior recitals as well as a group of friends making music. The show will be a mix of jazz standards, with musicians collaborating with each other. The date for that performance is Feb. 17.

So while people from different countries are being barred entry to the United States and some that are already here fear for their livelihood with the looming threat of deportation, Krisjayanta insists we sing and celebrate each other’s culture while we have the ability, serving for a joyful heart and singing for a peaceful mind.