Researching piano competition in the area, and there are a lot of choices. Thanks to Betty Chester for the info.
Florida State Music Teachers' Association*, the Florida section of the The Music Teachers National Association (MTNA), and the Mid-State Music Teacher's Association (MSMTA) offer different competitions. Teacher and student membership required. MSMTA has two in Spring, March and May. Under competition, MSMTA has judge's sheets along with application which list things that judges listen for - useful.
This is an independent competition by prestigious pianists:
Piano 2 0 1 2 S o n a t i n a - S o n a t a F e s t i v a l at St. Pete College - Brochure link:
A more broad annual youth competition with an emphasis on entertainment is Spotlight on Talent in Wesley Chapel.
Also, I am interested in looking into what Federated Music clubs has to offer as well, and they use Hillborough Community College facilities.
Many competitions are open to the public. I would highly recommend a student attend one before participating, to learn and enjoy!
*P.S. The February 2012 newsletter of the Florida State Music Teachers' Association contains further info on pianist competitions. The next public competition is FSMTA Competitive Events, May 11-12 – HCC Ybor Campus, Tampa.