From the moment Camila Mennitte Pereyra picked up drumsticks, she knew she was meant to be a drummer.
Born in Argentina, Cami started playing drums when she was 14-years-old. Despite a limited music program in
school, she began taking lessons and attending music camps in her hometown. It was at one of the camps
where she met former Shell Lake Arts Center jazz faculty member and current board member Steve Zenz. He
quickly saw the talent in the young drummer and extended an invitation to attend the Jazz Ensemble and
Combo camp at Shell Lake. Despite her limited English, Cami emphatically accepted the offer.
Through Shell Lake scholarships and support from Steve and other generous donors, Cami was able to attend 2
weeks of jazz camp. Upon completion, she recalls telling Steve, “Magic happens here! I have never experienced
something like that–the faculty, counselors, and students were incredible and the energy was so vibrant!” Her
experience validated her desire to pursue a career in drumming, and soon after was offered a scholarship to
attend UW-Eau Claire. After gaining her bachelors degree in music performance, she was offered a full ride to
attend Indiana University for her masters. She graduated in 2020 and is now playing professionally in Chicago.
“I had no idea this would ever happen to me. If you had said to 10-year-old Cami that this would happen, she
would never have believed you.”