Dwain Marshall

Dwain Marshall

Funeral services for Dwain Marshall, Temple High’s former choir director who started the Polyfoniks singing group, will be at 2 p.m. today.

Marshall died on Thursday, June 25, at a local care center in Temple. He was 83 years old.

“As the choral music department supervisor and high school choral director for Temple Independent School District, he grew the choral music department to what is in place today, including his love for a small group of singers, which he called the Polyfoniks,” according to Marshall’s obituary.

Temple ISD Superintendent Bobby Ott emphasized how the Polyfoniks will have a lasting impact on the local community.

“The mark that he has left on the school system is timeless, and he has absolutely left an impression that will last forever. It’s a fine arts program that’s not just known regionally, but around the state,” Ott said. “Without his vision it wouldn’t exist.”

Ott said the Polyfoniks — a group, which he called “forward thinking” — will outlast his time in TISD.

“There’s not too many times that I go places, and somebody doesn’t tell me they were in the Polyfoniks,” he said. “They could be 40, 50, 30 or 20 … They’ll come up to me and say they were in the Polyfoniks. It’ll outlast all of us.”

Marshall was born on Nov. 21, 1936, in Frederick, Okla., to Ed and LuCele Marshall. He attended and graduated from Temple High where he was an active member of the school’s band and the Highlighters — Temple High’s jazz band.

Marshall’s passion for music exceeded his tenure as a Temple High student, as he enrolled into Baylor University in pursuit of a bachelor’s degree in music. He graduated from the program in 1958, and met his wife, the former Bobbie Skinner, that same year.

The pair relocated from Central Texas to Frederick, where he began sharing his musical knowledge as a teacher. But Marshall was eager to enhance his musical prowess and returned to Waco for a master’s degree in music, which he completed in 1964.

Marshall and his family moved to Texas City to continue his teaching career before moving back to Temple, where he cultivated a new era of musicians for 24 years before retiring.

But Marshall’s musical legacy was not limited to just the school districts he taught in, as he was a music minister at churches in each town he taught in. Memorial Baptist Church in Temple was the last church he served.

Marshall is survived by his wife of 61 years, Bobbie Marshall; their daughter, Sharon Kelley and her husband David; granddaughter, Melanie Collier and her husband Jason; and three great-grandchildren.   

Scanio-Harper Funeral Home will hold a service for Marshall at 2 p.m. today. He will be buried at Hillcrest Cemetery.