Iryna Usova first came to the United States to study in the English Language Program at the Center for Multilingual Multicultural Studies at UCF followed by the UCF Music MA program where she was awarded a full tuition scholarship. During 2014-2016, Iryna served in the UCF Department of Music, School of Performing Arts as a Graduate Teaching Assistant while also being Concertmaster of the UCF Symphony and Chamber Orchestras.

During that time she appeared as a solo performer in both the Brandenburg Concerto No.4, C major and Patrick Doyle’s “Violin Romance.” She was Concertmaster of the “Music of Shakespeare and “Icarus of the Edge of Time” by Philip Glass with UCF Symphony Orchestra at the Dr. Phillips Center. She was also Concertmaster for the Broadway Musical “The Music Man” at the UCF Theatre. She performed with the UCF Music Faculty String Quartet at “The Warped Side of the Universe” with Hans Zimmer, Paul Franklin, and Kip Thorne, among other solo performances.

After graduation from the UCF, as a part of the Optional Practical Training, she performed with the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra, Brevard Symphony Orchestra, Ocala Symphony Orchestra, The Villages Philharmonic Orchestra, Florida Lakes Symphony Orchestra, and other prominent ensembles. Eventually, however, her visa expired.

Returning home to Ukraine was bittersweet. Being with her mother, sister, nephew, and brother-in-law was so welcome after many years away. However, military unrest in Ukraine was a constant concern. On February 24, 2022, Iryna and her family were awakened by the sounds of bombing and tremors. In just twenty minutes, she and her family fled their city to safety, hoping to find refuge outside of Ukraine. After weeks of traveling and waiting, they were allowed the chance to leave; however, her brother-in-law was required to stay to support the Ukrainian military. Only Iryna and her mother were able to leave.

With the support of a family here in the US, Iryna has been able to come back to Central Florida, a place she hopes to call home. Her mother is still in Europe, and it is her hope that she can both obtain her EB-1 Visa and bring her mother here to the US.