Brian Schrag is SIL International’s ethnomusicology and arts coordinator, and developed the World Arts program at the Graduate Institute of Applied Linguistics (GIAL, Dallas); he serves as adjunct professor in the program at GIAL.Brian has worked as a linguist, Bible translator, and ethnomusicologist in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Cameroon, and holds a PhD in Ethnomusicology (University of California, Los Angeles), an MA in Intercultural Studies (Wheaton College), and a BS in Cognitive Science (Brown University). Brian fills the role of vice president of Training and Education on the board of the International Council of Ethnodoxologists (ICE), and has been an active member of the Society for Ethnomusicology (SEM) and the International Council of Traditional Music (ICTM) for many years. He writes and presents on such topics as ethnoarts endangerment and revitalization, music criticism, applied ethnomusicology, Central African music, intersections of faith and scholarship, communication theory, and research as love. Brian has performed and recorded albums with Malian artist Cheick Tidiane Seck, Malawian musician Donald Kachamba, and Christian world music band Izibongo.
Brian’s life purpose is to enact truth through music, words, and human organization in ways that open profound conversations with God, and to help others do the same. He encourages more people to create more things for more purposes in their communities, and tries to model this in his own life. He thus composes and performs songs for his family, weddings, funerals, anniversaries, and romantic and bluesy occasions. He is active in the Huntington’s Disease Society of America, planning to draw on the arts’ power to spark hope and healing by connecting artists and sufferers of this illness. Brian also integrates off-kilter wit into many of his activities. He loves his wife, Barb, and children Mindy, Austin, and Lydia.