Barbara was born in Liverpool and began playing the violin at age 9. She initially took lessons at the Matthay School of music and won a scholarship which led to her studying with Eugene Genin.
After leading the Liverpool Junior Orchestra Barbara became a member of the Merseyside Youth Orchestra and the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain, attending courses and performing around the country.
Whilst then studying at the Royal Northern College of Music under Rudolph Botta Barbara was a member of the College string ensemble Ariosi, giving concerts in the Channel Islands, France and the Wigmore Hall, London. Also playing in the College Senior Orchestra giving regular concerts in Manchester and touring Germany.
After graduating, Barbara played with the Liverpool Philharmonic, Halle and BBC Philharmonic Orchestras and later took up the role of Head of Strings at Rishworth School, which she held for many years.
She became Leader of Halifax Symphony Orchestra in 2008.