Born: November 3, 1843, Tavistock, Devon, England.
Died: November 21, 1920, Morganton, North Carolina.
Buried: Riverside Cemetery, Asheville, North Carolina.
Robjohn was the son of organ builder William Robjohn.
The family moved to New York City in 1858, where William sang soprano at Trinity Church. A largely self taught musician, he began using the pseudonym Caryl Florio around 1870 due to his family’s opposition to a musical career.
Robjohn became organist and choir director at Trinity Church, Newport; Zion Church, New York; and Mt. Calvary Church. He conducted opera in Havana, Cuba, and the Academy of Music in New York.
He was music director at the Baptist Female Institute in Indianapolis, Indiana, and Wells College in Aurora, New York. He also conducted the Vocal Society of New York, the Amicitia Orchestra and the Palestrina Choir.
In 1896 Robjohn took charge of music at Biltmore, the North Carolina estate of tycoon George Vanderbilt, and conducted the Asheville Choral Society. He stayed at Biltmore until 1901, then moved to New York.
After two years, he returned to Asheville, where he taught and conducted choruses and choirs. He was also organist and choirmaster at All Souls Church in Biltmore.
In addition to his better known work as a composer, Robjohn held several patents: for pipe organs, a liquid meter, and a mechanical calculating machine.
Robjohn spent the last few years of his life as a psychiatric patient, first at the Appalachian Hall sanatorium in Asheville, then at the State Hospital in Morganton.
If you know where to get a good photo of Robjohn (head-and-shoulders, at least 200×300 pixels), would you ?