Barbara studied with Soulima Stravinsky, son of the famed composer. She has performed as both a pianist and soprano in Germany, the former USSR, and in the Temple Square Concert Series. Throughout her career she worked with composer Deon Nielsen Price and also commissioned him to compose Allegra Barbara, which she premiered in 1988.
Allen was recognized as the Honored Alumnus of BYU's College of Fine Arts and Communications in 1988 during the campus' Homecoming festivities. In 2015, she was the vocal coach for the BYU produced Opera Hansel and Gretel.