Barb had a lifelong love of piano and music
BORN with music in her blood, Mackay's Barbara Allen is leaving a lasting impact on Mackay's music community.
Throughout her years, Mrs Allen volunteered her time as an accompanist for a generation of musicians.
Mackay-based singer and CQU lecturer Nicole Thompson has known Mrs Allen since she was a teen.
Ms Thompson said she owed her career in music to Mrs Allen's support.
"The stories were that she could transpose (music) on sight and that she could play anything you could put in front of her," Ms Thompson said.
"She was the best accompanist. She would follow and support … she was wonderful at that and she always held you in good hands when you were performing."
Tributes to Mrs Allen were shared widely across social media with some calling her a "pint-sized unstoppable powerhouse of support" and a "generous soul" with "a sharp mind and an even sharper wit".
Ms Thompson said there was a "devastation" felt as people heard of Mrs Allen's passing.
"It has hit many people very hard," she said.
Mrs Allen was a life member of the Mackay Choral and Mackay Musical Comedy Players after decades dedicated to both groups.
She sat behind the piano at 40 Comedy Players productions, countless revues, recitals and Christmas shows as well as more than 100 items each year at the Mackay Eisteddfod.
She was born in Mackay in 1933 to parents Richard and Bella Hughes and passed away peacefully on July 29, 2020.
After her first marriage ended she married the late John Allen in June 1999. The pair were heavily involved in music in Mackay.
Her youngest son Mark Bowerman said his most lasting memory of his mum was her love of the piano.
He said she began learning the instrument aged six and her passion "grew from there".
"She was all for music. It was constant," he said.
"The biggest thing about mum was once you became her friend it was forever, you know."
Mrs Allen leaves behind family Kim, Chris, Janelle, Mark and Trisha as well as grandchildren Steven, Reece, Sean, Matthew, Jessica and great-grand daughters Isobel and Willow.
She will be farewelled at a funeral in Mackay today.