York grad’s music career leads to brush with celebrity
Pictured here performing in New York City is Elmhurst resident Scott Hildebrand, who went to Hawthorne, Sandburg and York High School before launching his musical career. Currently working in Australia on a one-year visa, Hildebrand was recently picked up while hitchhiking by Hollywood actor Chris Hemsworth, star of such films as Star Trek, Thor and The Avengers.

By Dee Longfellow

For The Elmhurst Independent


The Elmhurst Independent just loves to bring its readers the exciting news when a current or former resident has a brush with someone famous.

Growing famous on his own as a musician, Elmhurst resident Scott Hildebrand has already performed at various venues throughout the U.S. and other countries and has been currently living in Australia on a one-year work visa.

“He came home to be best man in a friend’s wedding in Mexico,” his mother Lesa Hildebrand told the Independent in an exclusive interview. “Scott had never hitchhiked before, so he flew back to Brisbane and decided to hitchhike back to Byron Bay.”

While on the road with his thumb extended, a vehicle came up and began driving around him, circling several times to see if he “looked safe,” they told Scott later. Scott was cautious himself, but decided if the car had surfboards, then “these guys must be surfers, so they must be okay.” Apparently, the occupants of the vehicle felt the same way.

After driving a short while, they told Scott they would have stop and get another vehicle, which gave him pause. Should he be worried? What does this mean? At that point, Scott offered to pitch in for gas, to which Hemsworth said, jokingly, “It’ll be $4,000!” Scott still didn’t know who his drivers were and was even more stunned when the car drove up to a helipad!

Realizing he was about to take a helicopter ride, Scott finally asked point-blank: “Who ARE you guys?!”

The gentleman driving said he was a personal trainer, “and this is Chris Hemsworth.”

Hemsworth, who hails from Melbourne, has starred in such films as Star Trek (2009), Thor (2011) and The Avengers (2012),

They flew in the helicopter and landed right in Hemsworth’s driveway, where he told Scott his personal trainer could drive him home “in Matt Damon’s car!”

“It blew my mind because they were so nice,” Scott said. “They seemed like normal surfers! In the helicopter, I was freaking out, like no way is this real!”

The best part was that the helicopter ride was recorded on video and put on Hemsworth Instagram page. The music that plays in the background of the video is a song called “Ready To Fly,” which Scott Hildebrand had written himself.

“It’s overwhelming and amazing that he did that,” Scott said.

Eventually, Scott got back to Byron Bay, no worse for wear after his experience.

His mother got a kick out of the story, “and then it went viral!” she said.

It appeared on several television news programs and was even a short feature in the Nov. 12, 2018, issue of People Magazine.

That is the tale of an Elmhurst resident – who went to Hawthorne School, Sandburg Middle School and graduated from York High School in 2009 – and ended up meeting a celebrity while hitchhiking in Australia, which resulted in a helicopter ride! Now that’s a story!


More about Scott Hildebrand

Scott will only be able to stay until his visa expires in January, but in the meantime, he is doing as much musical performing as he possibly can while also writing his own original music.

Hildebrand performs genres like hometown Chicago blues as well a folk, rock & roll and reggae. He plays multiple instruments and writes many of his own songs. He has been on stage in cities such as Seoul, Tokyo, Santa Barbara, San Cristobal, New York and Melbourne. He has also played beachside venues in Guatemala and Goa, India. His music is available on iTunes and Spotify.

For more information about Scott Hildebrand and his music, visit his website at scotthildebrand.com. He is expected to be home for his sister’s wedding in June of 2019, at which time the Independent hopes to meet him personally for a follow-up story.



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