Nadia DiGiallonardo

Nadia DiGiallonardo is the Musical Supervisor and Arranger for Waitress the Musical, as well as an orchestrator, musical director, conductor and musician.

Nadia studied music theory at high school, but had given up on music before studying at Vassar College, where she majored in Urban Planning, following in her father’s footsteps. She then went onto work in design, whilst keeping music as a hobby, but was feeling burnt out and needed a career change. Nadia took an unpaid internship at City Center to work on their Encores! Series, preparing the scores for the orchestra by hand. This landed her a job with the resident conductor of the Encores! Series, Rob Fisher, which gave her the opportunity to conduct Hair on Broadway, a pop/rock musical directed by Diane Paulus.

Hair was the first Broadway show for both Diane and Nadia, and they both collaborated again on Pippin, working with Stephen Schwartz.

The collaboration was so successful that, when Diane was approached with the idea of turning the Waitress movie into a musical, she approached Nadia again to collaborate with her. Before Sara Bareilles had even written a song for the show, Nadia was tasked with using songs from her back catalogue to see where songs would fit. She said: “We had the screenplay. I remember watching the movie, thinking ‘where do we do a song? There is a breakup, should we put a song here?’ It was cool to imagine what could be musicalised in the film while trying to separate the music that is in the film. We had to go with a clean slate. I made a little spreadsheet displaying where Sara’s songs could fit. When we got to the first meeting, it was so clear that Sara’s creativity is endless. Music oozes out of her every pore. Writing new songs was not going to be a problem. Working with Sara was such a gift. No one had to think of anything for her. She was full of ideas. Her natural skills were so above and beyond anything we could ever have imagined. In the beginning it was helpful for her to have someone just to say, ‘Write the song. Make a demo on your laptop and then go on to the next thing. We will take it from there.’ I would then work on the song and say ‘here is the new key. Do you like these vocals?’ Then she could flush it out at the end. It was good for her to have my support in the beginning; to be a sounding board. By the time we got to New York and were into tech, we got to a place where the songs sang themselves. It kept true to a pop concert.”

“I believe we were one of the first shows to not have an orchestrator. Our band actually orchestrated the show. That is one of the biggest reasons the show sounds the way it does; like one of Sara’s albums rather than a musical theater version of a Sara Bareilles score. It is really truly authentically her sound. Eight long days were spent in a studio recording as if we were making the album version of the show. That is how the score came about, which was a big deal. No other musical had done that yet. Now with so many shows in this genre, people are talking about this option for orchestration.”

Nadia was part of the Broadway production in New York almost every night, supervised the First National Tour in the US as well as coming to the West End to launch the show with Carrie Grant, the London assistant musical director.

Outside of Waitress, Nadia has been involved with several new theatre and recording projects, and has performed on various TV and radio shows as both a pianist and singer, including the DiGiallonardo Sisters’ CD “Shout, Sister, Shout!”

Selected Previous Credits


  • Pippin
  • Hair
NameNadia DiGiallonardo
Born9 August 1977
FromBrooklyn, New York
TrainedVassar College
RoleMusical Supervisor & Arranger